This weekend marks the return of The Chocolate Show for its fifth anniversary edition at Olympia London.

Visitors can expect a dazzling array of all things chocolate – this year welcomes some sensational brand new experiential features to the already stellar show, including an incredible line-up of celebrity chefs, a chocolate and alcohol pairing bar, and an art exhibition recreating some of history’s most famous masterpieces (including the Mona Lisa and Van Gogh's Starry Night) entirely from chocolate! See for more information.

In honour of The Chocolate Show, here's a couple of recipes to get you inspired.

Muscovado chocolate cakes with cocoa nibs and Mayan spiced syrup

My name is Paul A. Young and I am a cake-a-holic. I cannot imagine my life

without the humble cake, whether it’s for afternoon tea, a quick coffee

break or a stolen hour gossiping with friends. Moist and sticky with crunchy

cocoa nibs and an aromatic sweet-spiced syrup, these cakes are the perfect

dessert served warm with real vanilla ice cream or cold with rooibos or Earl

Grey tea.


115g self-raising flour

65g dark cocoa powder, the best quality you can buy

½teaspoon sea salt

185g unsalted butter

225g unrefined muscovado sugar

85ml double cream

2 medium free-range eggs

50g cracked cocoa nibs


200g unrefined golden caster sugar

½fresh nutmeg, grated

1 cinnamon stick, broken in half

¼teaspoon chilli powder


Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.

Place the flour, cocoa, salt and butter in a large mixing bowl. Rub between

your fingers until the mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the

sugar and mix well.

Fill a measuring jug with 85ml water, then add the cream and eggs. Whisk

well, then pour into the dry mixture. Mix until smooth.

For the cupcake cases, you can either use shop-bought paper cases or, for a

more contemporary style, make them yourself using non-stick baking

parchment: cut 15cm squares of parchment paper, scrunch them up tight in

your hand, then open them out just enough to fit into your muffin tin.

Fill each case three-quarters full with cake mixture and sprinkle over plenty of

cocoa nibs. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until springy to the touch. Remove from

the muffin tin and place on a wire rack to cool.

To make the sugar syrup, bring 200ml water, the sugar and all the spices to

the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse

for 15 minutes. Strain through a sieve into a jug.

While the cakes are still warm, slowly and gradually feed each one an even

amount of syrup until glossy, allowing the syrup to soak fully into the cakes. If

serving as a plated dessert, save some syrup to drizzle over and around the


Grandma’s Chocolate Cake

This cake is rich, moist, and delicious – the kind of chocolate cake you dream about when you’re pouring yourself a glass of milk. Donald developed this cake recipe two decades ago when he was the pastry chef for the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills.

As he tells it, “Every hotel pastry chef gets beat up over three things: muffins for the morning, breakfast, American-style cookies, and a classic chocolate cake. Sean Loeffel, the food and beverage director at the hotel, had a clear idea of the chocolate cake he wanted me to make. For two months, I made chocolate cakes – every kind of chocolate cake you can imagine– but none of them worked for Sean. Finally, he brought in a cake that his mother had made, and I understood immediately what he wanted (and wished he’d brought in her cake two months earlier).

Sean’s mom had 8 or 10 children and a bazillion grandchildren, so she’s the grandma that this cake is named for. I tweaked her recipe, using high quality chocolate. As soon as I began of choice for the many, many weddings held at the Four Seasons. It was the most requested item so we would slice off the domed top, save it, and make another dessert – a chocolate pudding with a chocolate custard. That dessert also developed a devoted following.

Pastry chef friends from other hotels would call me, complaining about their own chocolate cake trauma, and I would e-mail them this recipe (Telling them not to say where they’d gotten it). Without fail, I’d get an e-mail back a few days later singing the praises of this cake”.

It’s not overstating it to say Donald has made this cake thousands and thousands of times. If you love chocolate cake, this recipe is the one you’ll be passing down to your own grandchildren- if they’re lucky.


¾ cup plus 2 TBSP (210ml) water

1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp (55g) Guittard Cocoa Rouge (Dutch- processed unsweetened cocoa powder)

1 ¾ cups plus 1 Tbsp (220g) all-purpose flour

1 ¾ cups (350g) sugar

1 ¼ tsp salt

1 tbsp baking soda

¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp (210ml) full fat buttermilk

½ cup plus 2 tbsp (150ml) vegetable oil

2 Large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract


2 2/3 cups (400g) Guittard Semisweet Chocolate Baking Wafers

1 ¼ cups (300ml) heavy whipping cream

2 Tbsp light corn syrup

6 Tbsp (85g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

White Chocolate Buttercream:

¾ cup (115g) Guittard Choc-Au-Lait Baking Chips (white chocolate)

½ cup plus 2 Tbsp (130g) sugar

3 egg whites, at room temperature

Pinch of salt

¼ tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ cups (340g) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 –in (12mm) cubes, at room temperature

To make the cake:

Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350f (180c). Butter two 8-in (20cm) round cake pans.

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil turn off the heat, and add the cocoa powder. Whisk until smooth, then set aside to cool. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. With a hand mixer, beat in the buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the cocoa mixture and blend until combined, about 30 seconds. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans and let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes.

Line a backing sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Using a knife, loosen the sides of the cake. Invert a wire rack over the top of the cake pan, and using both hands carefully flip the rack and pan together so the pan is upside down on top of the wire rack. Gently shake the pan until the cake falls out, and set the pan aside. Invert a second wire rack on the bottom of the cake and flip back over so it is right-side up. Repeat with the remaining cake layer, and let the cakes cool for about 1 hour. Place the cakes on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until the cakes are completely cold, about 1 hour.

To make the ganache:

Put the semisweet chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup just to a boil. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate. Let the chocolate mixture stand for 3 minutes, then whist until all the chocolate has melted. Add the butter and stir until combined. Pour the ganache into a shallow, flat glass baking dish and let cool at room temperature for 1 hour, or until it is spreadable. (At this point, you can wrap the ganache tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.)

To make the white chocolate buttercream:

Melt the white chocolate chips using a hot water bath or the microwave oven (see Note: Melting chocolate page 51). Stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the water if you used a hot water bath and set aside. Keep the water simmering.

Place the sugar, egg whites, and salt in a second heatproof bowl and set it over the simmering water (creating a second hot water bath). Whisk the sugar mixture continuously until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is very thing and warm, or until a candy thermometer reads 115f (45c). Remove the bowl from the head and transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with the whisk attachment (or to a large bowl if using a hand mixer with whisk beaters).

Whisk the sugar mixture on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes, then turn the speed to low and mix until cool, about 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and butter on low speed. Add the melted white chocolate, in two additions, continuing to blend on low, until combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the buttercream is smooth and shiny.

Using a serrated knife, cut both cakes in half horizontally, for a total of four layers. Place one layer on a cardboard circle or a cake platter. Spread one third of the ganache on the cake. Carefully place the second cake layer on the ganache and repeat until you have four layers of cake sandwiching three layers of ganache. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes.

Apply a “crumb coat” (or first layer) of butter-cream by spreading one-half of the buttercream on the top and sides of the cake. You should be able to see some chocolate crumbs in the white frosting. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up the buttercream. Use the remaining half of the buttercream to apply the final coat. This time you won’t see any chocolate crumbs. It should be completely white. This cake is best eaten the same day it’s bake. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

Makes one 8-in (20cm) two-layer cake.

Chef Wressell’s Tips

1. Let the cake batter rest for 30 minutes before baking. This allows the leavening to settle down and prevents the fast rise and then fall of the centre of the cake in the


2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place the cooled cake layers on these baking sheets and place them in the refrigerator. The sugar prevents the cake from sticking

3. A “crumb coat”, which uses only half of the buttercream, assures that your final frosting will be smooth with no chocolate crumbs showing through.