Your kids can grow up but some things never change. Connagh and I saw Lorraine Pascale make this cake on telly several years ago and we have made it twice since. Asked what kind of cake he would like for his 17th birthday and this was the request! I’ve changed Lorraine’s original recipe, replacing her sponge and butter cream recipes with those used to create my 365 cake – my all time favourite chocolate cake. The result? Fabulous if I don’t say so myself – the cake didn’t last long though: the sponge is so, so light but lusciously chocolatey; likewise the butter cream is sumptuously rich and chocolately without being sickly. Simply divine.
What you need…
2 x 20cm / 8” cake tins (spring form or loose-bottomed ideally), lightly buttered and lined on the bottom with parchment paper.
340g unsalted butter, room temperature
340g caster sugar
1 dessertspoon vanilla extract
225g self-raising flour
85g cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
for the chocolate butter cream
75g dark chocolate (ideally 70% cocoa) broken into pieces
150g unsalted butter, room temperature
300g icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
for the decoration
Around 800g Maltesers (this will be too many but I have accounted for the chef’s privileges that go along the way! It equates to 7 x 120g boxes or 2 and a bit x 360g boxes).
What to do…
Preheat the oven to 180°c / 350° / gas 4.
Using a food processor, beat together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Whilst it’s still beating, add in the eggs, one at a time, ensuring that each is thoroughly mixed in before adding the next. Add the vanilla extract and milk and mix in.
In a large mixing bowl, sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Then, add in the ingredients from the food processor and, using a balloon whisk, fold together all the ingredients until they are thoroughly blended. Divide the chocolate sponge mixture between the two cake tins.
Bake the sponges in the oven for 45 minutes until the cake is firm and an inserted skewer comes out dry.
Allow to cool for 30 minutes in the tins and then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the butter cream, made especially gorgeous by the use of the melted chocolate.
Put your chocolate into a heatproof bowl and then into a steamer over a saucepan of simmering water. Gently melt the chocolate and then set aside until it is cool enough to touch.
In a separate bowl, sieve in the icing sugar and then beat together with the butter. Add the vanilla essence and then tip in the warm chocolate. Mix together using a small balloon whisk to ensure it is evenly and thoroughly blended. Set aside until you are ready to assemble the cake.
Spread the butter cream lavishly and evenly across the bottom sponge. Pop on the top sponge. Using a spatula or palette knife spread more butter cream all over the outside of the assembled cake, taking particular care to fill in the gap between the two sponges. Don’t be sparing – this is one decadent chocolate cake and should be spared no naughtiness! Run a palette knife lightly around the cake and then over the top so that you have a smooth surface onto which you can pop your Maltesers.
‘Pre-clean’ the butter cream bowl before sticking it in the dishwasher: you know exactly what I mean – a small spatula, fingers – anything will do – it’s too good to waste – tastes amazing! If you have small child (or older) children around, they always seem happy to help with this particular job!
Spend time plopping on your Maltesters. I start at the bottom of the cake, going around and around the cake until I ultimately end up in the centre of the top! Lorraine Pascale was somewhat more precise in her arrangement, involving a ruler! Serve! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Decadent, delicious, delovely…just one more piece please.
Lorraine Pascale for the concept and a mish-mash of other chocolate cake recipes to get the one I love.
Very easy; you just need time to play with the Maltesers!