MUNCH RATING: 5/5
Today was Steve’s birthday!
His Mum usually makes him a cake, but this year we agreed I would have the honour. Even though I’m pretty confident at knocking out a cake or batch of biscuits for afternoon tea, making a celebratory cake was a bit daunting as you want it to be perfect for the special occasion!
So I didn’t want to try anything too ambitious, but I still wanted it to be special. I wanted to make him the Ultimate Chocolate Cake from the BBC Good Food website, but a mix up with the food shopping meant that I didn’t have any buttermilk which is a vital ingredient. So instead I used the sponge recipe from the Chococcino Cake which I loved as it was moist and dense and it didn’t require any special ingredients. I didn’t have any mascarpone to make the icing, so I just made a chocolate buttercream which I nicked from a Rachel Allen recipe and it worked well. I tried to make chocolate curls but failed – I think the chocolate needed to be a bit warmer, but it’s such a cold rainy day today and the central heating hadn’t kicked in properly yet.
The cake still looked and tasted good so I was happy. I’ve also made him his favourite for dinner: Thai Massaman Curry. For dessert he requested Crème Brulee, which I made slightly differently so check out that recipe to read the verdict!
- Makes: 1 8-inch round cake
- Oven temperature: Gas mark 4/350°F/180°C
- You will need: 2x 8-inch (20cm) round loose-bottomed sandwich tins
Ingredients for the sponge:
- 200g soft, butter, plus extra for greasing (I used Stork)
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 140g self-raising flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 85g good-quality cocoa powder (I used Bournville)
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- Heat oven to Gas mark 4/350°F/180°C.
- Grease 2 x 20cm non-stick round sandwich tins.
- Place the butter and sugar into a food processor and whizz until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, whizzing after each egg until it is incorporated (you can add a tablespoon of flour with each egg to prevent it from curdling). Add the flour, cocoa and baking powder and process until smooth. Then add the milk and whizz again.
- Divide the mix between the cake tins (use your spatula to create a slight dip in the middle so that when it bakes the top is level), then bake for 20-25 mins until it feels springy to the touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- When cool enough to handle, remove the cakes from the tins but leave on the bases to cool completely on a rack.
For the icing:
- Place 75g room temperature unsalted butter in a food processor with 1 Tablespoon double cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and whizz until smooth. Then add 175g icing sugar and 1 Tablespoon good quality Cocoa powder and continue to mix until well incorporated. If it’s a cold day, you might need to add a little bit more cream to make it a spreading consistency.
- Spread the icing over both of the cakes, then stack them.
- Use a vegetable peeler to make curls of chocolate from a bar, this should work better if the chocolate is slightly warm.