Recipe and images by Fiona Hugues

Any young at heart Auckland party goer or night owl student of the nineties will undoubtedly remember DKD café tucked at the back of the Civic Theatre. Named after the trio that started it, Darren, Karen and Derek, I always thought it stood for Decadence Kills Desire. Maybe it did, I don’t care. It’s where you went with the munchies late at night when partied out and usually a bit pissed, to devour the most delicious chocolate cake in the city. The legendary locale is now long closed but the coffee legacy still rides on via beans you can buy from a roastery north of the big city.

Such good staggery, stuff-face memories were made back then, and this almost black loaf cake sandwich stuffed full of a silky crème fraîche ganache situation with loads of espresso cream on the side is my ode to those dim, gloriously decadent nights, dark chocolatey and delicious, just like those slabs of famous cake and the stand out coffee at that unforgettable café.


220g plain flour

350g granulated sugar

90g good quality cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

160g full fat sour cream

120ml vegetable oil

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

250ml hot brewed espresso



250ml fresh cream

100g butter, cut into chunks

120g dark baking chocolate

120g caster sugar

60g Dutch-process cocoa powder

160g crème fraîche at room temperature



300ml fresh cream

1 short double shot of espresso

1 tsp finely ground coffee beans

2 tbsp icing sugar (optional)



Preheat oven to 170°C fan bake.

Lightly grease and line a standard size loaf tin.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder.

In another bowl or 2-cup glass measuring cup, whisk together sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla until evenly incorporated. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in sour cream mixture. Stir until just combined. Pour in the hot coffee and stir until smooth, then pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 40–50 minutes when tested with a skewer it comes out clean. If the top looks like its baking too quickly cover with a piece of foil.

Remove baked loaf from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Dust top with good quality cocoa powder.



Place cream, butter and chocolate in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute on high. Let sit and gently stir to combine.

Add sugar, cocoa powder and whisk until incorporated. It will look like a slightly grainy brownie batter at this point.

Next add crème fraîche and whisk until smooth and shiny.

Set aside if using straight away or chill and bring to room temperature to make spreading easy.



Whisk the cream until starting to thicken. Add the espresso, ground beans and icing suagr if using.

Continue to beat until just beginning to firm up.

To serve – Using a bread knife cut thick slices of loaf and sandwich them with lashings of the filling. Serve with copius amounts of espresso cream on the side. You’re welcome.


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