The ULTIMATE chocolate cake

I made this last week for a birthday, and believe me, it was choc-tastic. I’ve never eaten a 3-layer chocolate sponge, filled with chocolate ganache between each lovely layer, to then be covered in it. AMAZING!

The recipe comes from Edd Kimber’s ‘The Boy Who Bakes’ book, but the decoration is of my own styling.

photo

Beware, this does take a bit of time, so be prepared and allow for this! 

Ingredients: 

  • 110 g unsalted butter (+ extra for greasing)
  • 110 g of 60-70% chocolate (1)
  • 280 ml boiling water
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 140 ml buttermilk (or regular milk mixed with a few drops of lemon juice and left for 5 mins before using)
  • 280 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 340 g soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

Ganache:

  • 225 g butter 
  • 285 g of 60-70% chocolate (2)
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 240 ml double cream

Decoration:

  • Sprinkles
  • 100-150 ml double cream
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract (optional)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4/180 C or 160 C if using a fan oven).
  2. Grease and line 3 20 cm round tins with baking parchment and grease the paper too! This is vital if you want the cakes to come out in one piece and not a crumbled mess.
  3. Melt the chocolate  (1) and then set aside to cool slightly. This can be done either in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water.
  4. In another bowl, whisk the boiling water and cocoa powder together, and lastly, add the buttermilk to the mixture – set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl (apologies for the need for an abundance of mixing bowls!) use an electric hand mixer to beat the sugar, butter and vanilla extract together until lovely, light and fluffy.
  6. Beat in the eggs, a bit at a time, until all combined.
  7. With the mixer set to a low speed, pour the cooled chocolate mix from earlier down the side of the bowl and mix until combined. Once this has been achieved, add 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by 1/3 of the buttermilk mixture and repeat until all the ingredients have been mixed and well combined.
  8. Divide the yummy mixture between the three prepared tins and bake for roughly 30 mins depending on the placement within the oven. For me, I couldn’t fit all 3 tins in, so had to cook the first two and repeatedly swap shelves for even cooking. You can check this with a skewer in the middle – come out clean? IT’S DONE!
  9. Allow the cakes to cool for roughly 20 minutes before attempting to get them out of the tins.

Time to make the ganache! 

photo (1)

  1. Melt the butter, chocolate (2) and golden syrup using the same method as before. 
  2. Once melted and smooth, add the cream and mix to combine.
  3. Take off the heat and allow it to set – this can take anywhere from 30mins to 90mins, so be patient and make sure it retains the ability to be able to be spread effectively.

Assemble that beautiful cake! 

  1. Put the first layer on a cake stand or plate.
  2. Spread a nice thick layer of ganache over the top and place the next layer on and repeat the ganache spreading (goodbye diet…) 
  3. Put the final layer on and spread the remaining ganache over the top and the sides. This works best when the ganache is nice and soft.
  4. To decorate (this isn’t in the book but feel free not to do it), whip the double cream with the peppermint extract until thick and shiny.
  5. Add the cream to a piping bag with a large star nozzle and pipe around the edges of the cake. This will make it look like stars on the top.
  6. Add the sprinkles

J’ai fini!

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