“There is something about using a smooth and silky ganache to decorate a cake that creates a wonderful flavour, which is luxuriously chocolatey and I want to gobble up every single crumb.”
- 500 g unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
- 500 g soft light brown sugar
- 425 g self-raising flour
- 75 g cocoa powder
- 10 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 350 g icing sugar
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 3 Tbsp double cream
- 75 g Dark Chocolate
- 75 g Milk Chocolate
- 150 ml Double Cream
- Preheat the oven to 170oC/150oC fan and grease and line two 20cm springform cake !ns with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the flour, cocoa powder, eggs and vanilla extract and beat again until well combined.
- Divide the mixture between the two !ns and bake in the oven for 50–60 minutes, or until a cocktail stick or skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool fully.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter to loosen it. Add the icing sugar and cocoa powder and beat well until smooth and fluffy.
- Gradually pour in the double cream, beating continuously until smooth.
- Split the two cakes into four layers by slicing each cake in half horizontally, using a long serrated knife.
- Put the first cake layer onto a cake board or a flat plate. Using a palette knife, add two tablespoons of buttercream and spread over the top of the layer.
- Stack and repeat with the second and third sponge layers. Add the final sponge layer on top.
- Using the remaining buttercream, spread and smooth a thin layer around the cake sides and top for a crumb coat and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Break the dark chocolate and milk chocolate into equal pieces andput in a heatproof bowl. Heat the double cream in a small pan until just before boiling point. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and leave to sit for at least 5 minutes.
- Stir to combine until smooth.
- If lumps of chocolate still remain, put the mixture back into the pan over a low heat and stir until smooth, or microwave briefly.
- Let the ganache cool slightly in the bowl, stirring every few minutes until it forms a peanut-butter-like consistency. The cooling process can be sped up by placing the bowl in the fridge, but be sure to stir it frequently, so it doesn’t set too quickly.
- Once the ganache has set slightly, it can also be whisked with a hand-held electric whisk to give it a lighter and more mousse-like texture.
- Remove the chilled cake from the fridge and use a small angled spatula to smooth the ganache over the top and sides of the cake.
- I use a large metal scraper to achieve an even finish.
- Return the cake to chill in the fridge again for at least 30 minutes.
Ganache Drip Decoration
- Break the dark and milk chocolate into equal pieces and add to a heatproof bowl with the double cream. Microwave in short bursts until smooth.
- Transfer the mix to a small piping bag or use a teaspoon to drip the ganache down the sides of the cake. The more ganache you push over the edge, the further the drip will fall.
- Return the cake to chill in the fridge again for 30 minutes.
- Finally, decorate the cake by piping over any leftover ganache or buttercream in swirls, scattering over sprinkles and adding truffles if desired.