This cake is truly luscious – spectacularly rich and chocolatey, totally naughty and perfect for Christmas. Inspired by Mary Berry, her cake is of course beautifully presented as well. Mine however…..well, I had a few obstacles to overcome with my icing bag and nozzle; this cake, as delicious as it is, is evidence as to why I’m booked onto a cake decorating course in the New Year! Never judge a book by its cover or indeed a cake by its icing – another hit from Mary!!!
What you need…
1 x 33cm x 23cm Swiss roll tin, lightly buttered and lined with greaseproof paper
4 large, happy eggs
100g caster sugar
65g self-raising flour
40g cocoa powder
for the chocolate icing and topping
300g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), chunked
450ml double cream
4 tablespoons apricot jam, melted
Icing sugar for dusting
What to do…
Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.
For the sponge, use an electric handheld whisk to beat together the eggs and sugar until the mixture is really pale, light and frothy. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and use a metal spoon to cut and fold into the mixture, until they are both fully incorporated.
Tip the mixture into your prepared tin and pop in the oven for 10 minutes or until the sides are just shrinking away from the edge of the tin.
Place a piece of greaseproof paper bigger than the Swiss roll on your work surface. Invert the cake onto the paper and gently peel off the bottom lining of greaseproof paper.
Make a score mark 2.5cm in along one of the longer edges. Roll up (from the scored edge) using the paper, rolling with the paper inside. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the cream in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally to evenly mix in the melted chocolate. Cool and then pop into the fridge to firm up.
Uncurl the cold Swiss roll and discard the paper. Spread one third of the chocolate icing over the surface and then re-roll tightly. Cut a quarter of the cake off from one end on the diagonal. Transfer the large piece of the cake to a serving plate and then angle the cut end to the side of the larger cake to look like a branch. Cover the cake with melted apricot jam.
Now it gets really interesting. Mary put the chocolate icing into an icing bag fitted with a star nozzle and beautifully piped thick lines along the cake, covering it completely to look like bark. When I attempted this however, the nozzle flew off the end of the bag and the icing dumped onto the cake, looking somewhat like poo!!!!! I used my fingers to spread the chocolate all over the cake and then used a fork to try and recreate the bark effect….luckily the cake tastes amazing, which is just as well as it’s appearance leaves rather a lot to be desired!!!
The cake was easy but I struggled with the decoration – I think that might just be me though!!!