Have a look at this….
…these are the hundreds of left over chocolate eggs after our Easter Egg hunt last weekend! And, this was after we had overloaded as many as possible to family/friends/friends of friends/friends of friends of friends! So I was sat staring at the bowl thinking ‘I can’t possibly eat any more chocolate’ and began daydreaming of chocolate recipes.
With a family joint birthday party just a few weeks away, I thought what better excuse to make a huge chocolate fudge cake with chocolate frosting – particularly as I could freeze it until the day of the party (more about this in the recipe below).
And so I present to you two layers of rich, moist chocolate fudge cake sandwiched together with creamy milk chocolate frosting (tastes like Milkyway!) and decorated with chocolate shards. For me the chocolate sponge is the star of the show, it’s super indulgent, rich and moist. If you’re a faint of heart chocolate cake person, then apologies as this is not the cake for you. BUT if you’re a chocoholic, like myself, then stop everything your doing and bake this cake! Pictures of the inside will be uploaded after the party 🙂
Ingredients (makes 1 large cake)
For the cake:
250g self-raising flour
400g caster sugar
88g unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
250ml semi-skimmed milk
250ml boiling water
2 large eggs
110ml sunflower oil
For the milk chocolate buttercream:
170g milk chocolate, chopped into chunks
85g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
340g unsalted butter, at room temperature
312g icing sugar
2 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk, to loosen
For the decoration:
Milk/dark/white chocolate (I used left-over Easter eggs!)
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Prepare two 8-inch cake pans by first spraying with baking spray or brushing with butter and then lining with greaseproof paper (see below for instructions).
- Start by making the cake:
Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and espresso powder to a large bowl. Use a whisk to mix the ingredients until they are well combined.
- Now add the milk, sunflower oil, eggs and vanilla extract to the bowl and use an electric whisk set to a medium speed to mix all ingredients together until well combined.
- Now reduce the speed and carefully add the boiling water bit by bit. **Do not worry if the mixture looks very runny, once baked the cake will be super fudgy and moist** Finally, beat on a high speed for 1 minute to add air to the mixture (little bubbles should start to form on top!).
- Distribute the cake mixture evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to completely cool.
- Once the cakes are cool remove them from the tins and begin making your buttercream. Melt the dark and milk chocolate together in the microwave, 20 seconds at at time stirring in between blasts, until smooth.
- In a separate bowl beat together the butter and icing sugar with a wooden spoon/electric whisk until fluffy and smooth. Now fold in the melted chocolate until fully incorporated. If the buttercream is starting to feel a little stiff, add a tablespoon of milk at a time and mix into the buttercream to loosen it.
- Take one layer of your cake and place it on a serving plate. Spread a thick even layer of buttercream on top and then place the second cake layer on top upside down. Now spread a thin layer of buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake and place in the fridge for 30min-1hour to set*.
- Once set, spread the remaining buttercream across the top and sides of the cake and use an icing palette or blunt knife edge to give a smooth finish. Finally, break up the decoration chocolate into shards and decorate the top of the cake by pushing them into the icing**.
*This is called a crumb coat and is meant to be messy, so don’t worry about being too perfect as it will just act as a smooth base for the next layer of buttercream.
**I decided to freeze this cake in preparation for a birthday party, so I wanted to quickly share my instructions on how to freeze a cake properly so that it will still taste delicious once defrosted. Firstly, place the iced & decorated cake on a plate and put it in the freezer uncovered until it has completely hardened (at least 4 hours). Now securely wrap the cake in 2 layers of clingfilm, ensuring there are no gaps, and repeat with 2 layers of aluminium foil. The cake will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Be sure to defrost the cake for at least 24 hours before consuming.
How to line a round cake tin with greaseproof paper
- Place your baking tin on a piece of greaseproof paper and draw round the tin with a pencil. Use a pair of scissors to cut it out.
2. Cut out a long thick strip of greaseproof paper about 60cm long and fold one long edge of the strip. Make little cuts along the folded edge roughly 1 inches apart.
3. Grease the tin with a little butter or baking spray and fit the long strip around the inner edge of the tin with the cut edges flat down on the bottom of the tin. Place the circle of paper on top of the cut edges in the base of the tin and flatten down.