Monday, 30 May 2016

Chocolate cake wars : the ultimate taste test of coffee shop bakes

For comfort food you really can't beat a generous portion of chocolate cake, a universally adored traditional cake flavour and one that you can usually find at most cake shops across the country. Yes, for this round of cake wars I'm tucking into a tasty batch of chocolate cake all in the name of research..

Sometimes you find yourself with the nearest option to satisfy your cake appetite being a Starbucks or a Costa, where you can pretty much guarantee that no matter where you are in the country will have the same selection of treats. I've done the gruelling, tasking, cake eating work for you as I put the nation's chain coffee shop bakes to the test!

To test out the nation's Chocolate cake selection I visited a few different coffee shops and cafes across the country in order to crown a delicious winner.

The first place I visited was Starbucks, their take on the chocolate cake is an incredibly sweet dark chocolate chocolate cake with a generous layer of chocolate buttercream, ganache and a pretty topping of chocolate and gold stars. But does it taste as lovely as it looks?

On first bite it's a rich, moist cake with a very chocolatey flavour, the buttercream filling is rich and sweet and the ganache on top is just heavenly, it's definitely hit the spot.. 4/4

After that delicious a slice of cake I'd hate to be the cake following it.. Next up was John Lewis's cafe, their chocolate cake is one of the many favourites you can find rotating on their cake menu. Closer to a traditional sponge cake than Starbucks offering, with layers of chocolate sponge filled with chocolate buttercream.

A little less generous on the buttercream than Starbucks effort, with a dainty filling between the sponge layers and on top leaving it a little dry towards the edges of the cake. Still tasty and chocolatey but could do with much more buttercream. 2/4

Next up was Caffe Nero, somewhere I'd yet to visit for the cake testing round with their baked offerings staying closer to their Italian roots, so I was surprised to find a chocolate fudge cake on their menu amongst the panettones.

Their chocolate fudge cake is as you'd expect, rich and chocolatey with a delicious fudgey taste, a moist bake with generous layers of chocolate fudge buttercream and chocolate pieces, a very indulgent cake. My only faulting is that it was a little too rich, otherwise, perfect! 3/4

Last stop was another new cafe to the cake wars rounds, Debenhams cafe, with a similar take on the chocolate cake in chocolate fudge cake form. A chocolate sponge cake with chocolate buttercream, ganche and chocolate shavings on top.

A lovely, sweet chocolatey flavour, carried through in the buttercream, with a rich chocolate ganche, tasty but a little dry towards the edges much like John Lewis's effort, it could have done with a little more buttercream to help the bake along, but still much moister than John Lewis's take. 3/4

The overall verdict, despite happily wanting to eat more chocolate cake in the name of research, the overall winner has to be Starbucks, their chocolate cake was spot on, if I wasn't so full I could have happily gone back for seconds.. or thirds..

Images: Debenhams via Pinterest & Starbucks.