Mixing chocolate and a hint of ginger together creates an intriguing blend of flavours in this moist, rich ginger and chocolate cake recipe. To make sure the ginger doesn’t sink, it’s important to chop it finely.
– 200g butter (room temperature) or baking spread (at least 70% fat), plus extra for greasing
– 50g cocoa powder
– 4 tbsp full-fat or semi-skimmed milk
– 3 eggs
– 175g self-raising flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp ground ginger
– 250g caster sugar
– 2 pieces of stem ginger, finely chopped
For the filling and top
– 225g icing sugar
– 115g butter (room temperature)
– 2 tbsp stem ginger syrup
– 1 tbsp full-fat or semi-skimmed milk
– 2 pieces of stem ginger, finely shredded
Special equipment: 2 loose-bottomed, round sandwich tins, 20cm (8in) diameter and 4.5cm (13⁄4in) deep
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan 160ºC/350ºF/Gas 4). Grease the sandwich tins and line the bottom of each with baking parchment. Put the cocoa powder into a large, heatproof bowl. Stir in 6 tablespoons of boiling water, then add the milk. Mix to make a smooth paste (see below, Smooth mixture).
2. Add the remaining cake ingredients and combine using an electric hand whisk for 1–2 minutes only (or 3 minutes with a wooden spoon); do not over-mix, or the cake may not rise.
3. Divide the cake mixture equally between the prepared tins and level the tops. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until the cakes shrink away from the side of the tin and spring back when lightly pressed in the centre. Let the cakes cool for a few minutes in their tins, then turn them out and peel off the paper. Turn the cakes the right way up and leave to cool on a wire rack.
4. Make the filling and topping: sift the icing sugar into a large bowl. Add the butter, stem ginger syrup, and milk, and beat together using an electric hand whisk (or wooden spoon) until well blended. Transfer one of the cakes to a serving plate and spread half the icing over the top. Place the second cake over the filling and cover the top with the remaining icing. (See below, Evenly iced cakes.) Use the palette knife to draw large “S” shapes to give a swirl effect, then decorate the edge with the shredded stem ginger.
Keys to Perfection:
– Smooth mixture
– Cocoa powder can be lumpy, so mix it to a smooth paste with boiling water, then milk before adding the remaining ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to break up any lumps.
– Evenly iced cakes
– Make sure the butter for the icing is at room temperature, so it will spread easily. Use equal amounts of icing between the layers and on top of the cake, and cover right to the edges.
– Buying and using cocoa powder
This cake looks and tastes very chocolatey, but it doesn’t actually contain any chocolate – it’s made with cocoa powder. Buy a good-quality cocoa powder, preferably an organic one. This will be darker than the less expensive varieties, and will ensure that your cake has a deep, rich chocolate colour and flavour.
Mary Berry, CBE is one of the UK’s best-known and most respected cookery writers and television presenters. She has over 80 books to her name and over 6 million sales worldwide. Mary is a judge on the BAFTA award winning The Great British Bake Off series for the BBC, and a presenter on her own TV series Mary Berry Cooks. She specializes in family food, no fuss, practical and foolproof.
Mary Berry is the author of several DK books including the bestselling Mary Berry’s Complete Cookbook, which has sold over 1 million copies worldwide. In her new book Mary Berry Cooks the Perfect features over 100 exciting recipes, from quick family suppers to rustle up after work to more impressive dishes for entertaining.What sets this book apart is Mary’s ‘Keys to Perfection’. For each recipe Mary identifies the crucial parts you need to get right to guarantee the best results
Mary Berry Cooks the Perfect is published by DK, for more information click here.