If you want to bake a chocolate cake but have no eggs at home - this delicious recipe is for you. Bonus - you don't need a mixer to make it! The recipe is for a 8x4-inch loaf, but I baked it in my 8x5-inch tin, so the cake is slightly shorter.
Preheat oven to 175°C / 350°F (non fan-assisted). Grease the bottom and sides of a 8x4-inch baking tin and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
Place cocoa powder and instant coffee in a small bowl. Add in the boiling water and whisk until the cocoa powder has dissolved (see Naggy Notes). Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt together with a wire whisk. Add in the room-temperature water, oil, vanilla and the cocoa-coffee mixture and whisk until everything is incorporated. Change to a spatula and scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl a few times to ensure everything is well-mixed together.
Scrape the batter into the prepared baking tin. Bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Tent the cake with a piece of aluminum foil if the top looks like it's going to burn.
Remove the baking tin from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely while you make the chocolate ganache.
Place the cream in a small pot and set over medium heat until small bubbles begin to appear on the sides - do not let the cream come to a boil. If it comes to a boil, remove from heat and let it cool for 5 minutes before using.
Pour the cream over the finely chopped chocolate and set aside for 5 minutes. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Set aside (no need to chill in the refrigerator) and let the mixture cool to room temperature before using.
Once the cake has cooled completely (takes about 1 hour), run a spatula along the edges of the baking tin and invert the tin on a serving plate. Peel off the baking parchment (if it's stuck onto the cake) then turn the cake right side up.
Pour the ganache over the cake, spreading it with the spatula. Sprinkle chocolate pearls and nuts all over the cake before serving.
Leftover cake can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Mixing a hot liquid with cocoa powder is known as "blooming". This process intensifies the flavour of cocoa powder. Coffee also helps to intensify the chocolate flavour, but is unnoticeable in the cake. You can omit the coffee powder if you don't have any on hand.