I have been making chocolate cake for quite a few years now – as a mother of 3 a great chocolate cake is almost a badge of honour! As there are only 3 of us at home regularly these days I have not been baking as often as I used too, so when my eldest daughter came home for the weekend and invited a few friends around for afternoon tea I jumped at the chance to have a homemade cake in the house again.
With Easter just around the corner and a houseful of guests to feed on Easter Sunday it seemed like a good excuse to practice an easter themed cake.
My recipe is a very straight forward Victoria sandwich cake mix, with a buttercream filling and a chocolate ganache icing. The easter flourish is the bag of mini eggs that my daughter used to decorate the cake. A large supply of mini eggs is an easter necessity in our house and I have been very sad over the last few years to see the size of those bags shrinking – this year they are tiny. The same thing has happened with Quality Street chocolates at Christmas – does anyone remember how big the tins used to be in the eighties? My mother still uses an eighties tin to store the Christmas cake she makes every year and it is huge!
Anyway I digress, so back to the recipe:
- 225g self raising flour
- 225g caster sugar
- 225g soft margarine
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder dissolved in 3 tablespoons of hot water
Preheat the oven to 190C and grease and line 2 8inch round cake tins with baking parchment. Beat the sugar and soft margarine together and then add the eggs, beating each one in separately with a spoonful of flour to stop the mixture curdling. Finally fold in the remaining flour and baking powder and then thoroughly mix in the chocolate liquid. Divide between the two tins and bake for around 20 minutes until the sponge is just coming away from the sides of the tin. Remove and turn out the cakes onto a wire rack to cool. Adding four eggs and the chocolate dissolved in water ensures a very moist cake which I think is essential for a chocolate cake – often they are far too dry. You will notice that I use soft margarine in preference to butter – this is purely personal taste. Cakes in my family have always been made with margarine and I find it bakes a more moist cake.
Whilst the cake is cooking make the filling and topping:
Chocolate Buttercream Filling:
- 85g unsalted butter
- 175g icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon of good quality cocoa powder dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water
Cream together the butter and chocolate mixture and then slowly add the icing sugar until the mixture is to your taste. I always cover my mixer with a clean tea towel whilst doing this to stop the icing sugar floating all over the kitchen!
Chocolate Ganache Topping
- 125g dark chocolate
- 125g milk chocolate
- 235ml double cream
Chop the chocolate finely and place in a bowl. Heat the cream until it comes to the boil and then pour over the chocolate. Leave for a few minutes to let the chocolate melt and then mix well. Cool the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes to make it easier to spread.
Now all you have to do is sandwich the two cakes together with the chocolate butter cream and ice the cake with the yummy ganache. We decorated the cake with mini eggs, but you could use anything that takes your fancy.
Of course my best cakes are made with lovely fresh eggs from my brood of Buff Orpington chickens, but my ladies seem reluctant to get back into the habit of laying this year. Hopefully the warmer temperatures to come will tempt them into the chicken coop to lay a few eggs in time for Easter!
Now just sit back and watch the cake disappear!
I mentioned my eldest daughter was home for the weekend – she has started her own blog called Butterfly Becca and I am sure she would be delighted if you paid her a visit. You can also catch her on Instagram at @butterflybecca. Do let me know if you have enjoyed this post – I tend to keep my blog to all things flowery, but sometimes it is nice to branch out a bit and include something different.