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Heavenly Chocolate Cake



Serves 8

Ingredients

    Cake

  • 300g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 225g soft light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g cocoa
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 150ml boiling water
  • Ganache

  • 200g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 225ml double cream
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 25g caster sugar
  • Buttercream

  • 150g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened and diced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

    Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
  2. Cream the butter with both of the sugars until pale and light, this will take 3-4 minutes in a free-standing mixer.
  3. Gradually add the eggs, mixing well between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time. Add the vanilla extract.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and pinch of salt into the mixture and mix until almost combined. Add the buttermilk and boiling water and mix until smooth.
  5. Divide the cake batter between 3 x 20cm sandwich tins and bake on the middle shelf of your preheated oven for about 25 minutes until well risen, firm and a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cakes in the tins for 2-3 minutes then carefully turn out onto a wire cooling rack leave until cold. Meanwhile, prepare the Ganache and Buttercream (below).
  7. Ganache

  8. Put the chocolate into a bowl.
  9. Put the cream, butter and sugar in a small saucepan and heat until just boiling.
  10. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and leave for 5 minutes until the chocolate has melted.
  11. Stir until smooth then set aside until thick enough to pipe.
  12. Buttercream

  13. Place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt, either in the microwave on a low setting or over a pan of barely simmering water. Remove from the heat, stir until smooth and leave to cool slightly.
  14. Put the sugar and egg whites into a second heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Using a hand whisk, whisk until the mixture is thick, glossy white, hot to the touch and the mixture leaves a ribbon trail when the whisk is lifted from the bowl. This will take about 3 minutes.
  15. Using a spatula, spoon the mixture into the bowl of a free-standing mixer and whisk until the meringue has doubled in volume, cooled and will stand in stiff, glossy peaks – this will take roughly 3 minutes.
  16. Gradually add the butter to the cooled meringue mixture, beating constantly until the frosting is smooth. Fold in the vanilla and melted chocolate .
  17. Assemble the cake

  18. Place the first cake layer on a serving plate and spread with 2-3 tbs of buttercream.
  19. Top with the second cake layer and spread this with ganache. Top with the third cake layer and gently press the layers together.
  20. Using a palette knife, spread the sides of the cake in an even layer of ganache.
  21. Fit the Silicone Piping Bag with the larger star-shaped nozzle and fill the bag with the buttercream.
  22. Pipe buttercream rosettes in a circle around the top, outer edge of the cake. Pipe a second circle of buttercream rosettes 1- 1.5cm inside this, leaving space for a circle of piped ganche. Continue like this until you reach the middle of the cake. Pipe a ring of buttercream rosettes around the base of the cake.
  23. Wash and dry the piping bag and fit with the smaller star-shaped nozzle. Fill the bag with the ganache and pipe rosettes between each circle of buttercream so that the top of the cake is completely covered.

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