Chocolate Cake

I have a terrible habit of baking celebration cakes when there is nothing in particular to be celebrating. I know, it’s not an issue that I can imagine a lot of people will share with me but it does give the family issues when there is a massive cake sitting on the on the side and no good excuse for eating it. Just in case anybody does find they have a similar issue I have a few solutions: My favourite thing I have done with one of these cakes was taking it to one of the local retirement homes in my area. You get to have a conversation with all the residents and they get a free cake. Another one of my favourite things to do is give it to relatives, or take it to work. This particular cake will be going to a holiday club at the school that my mum works at.

Choc cake 1

This chocolate cake is deliciously rich and although there is no actual chocolate in it you still get a strong flavour from the amount of cocoa powder, I do recommend you use the highest quality cocoa powder you can afford because it will make a difference to the flavour of this cake. Instead of using butter this chocolate cake uses oil which will result in a lighter and moister texture.

choc cake 4

The buttercream I have chosen for this cake is so light and fluffy you are not going to want to go back to your traditional recipe. The thing that makes this frosting so light is the egg whites in it. Now I know that’s an unusual ingredient in a frosting but stick with me, it will all work out in the end. The idea is that you whisk the egg whites and sugar together over heat so the egg whites cook and the sugar dissolves then you whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks. The butter then gets added bit by bit to the meringue. It’s also a dead easy recipe to remember the ratio of egg whites to sugar to butter is 1:2:3.

choc cake 2

If you do choose to decorate your cake like I have, then I will recommend pound land or somewhere similar because it will be by far your cheapest option.

Cake

          340g plain flour

          525g caster sugar

          130g cocoa powder

          2 ¼ tsp baking powder

          2 ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

          3 eggs

          375ml milk

          190ml vegetable oil

 

1.       Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade

2.       Grease and line two 8 inch cake tins

3.       Stir together all the dry ingredients

4.       Mix the wet ingredients together in a jug

5.       Slowly poor the wet mixture into the dry one as you stir

6.       Once the mixture is well combined divide it between two tins

7.       Bake for 50 minutes to an hour the cakes will be springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean

8.       Leave to cool then take out the tins and level off with a serrated knife

 

Icing

          4 large egg whites (150g)

          300g caster sugar

          450g butter

 

1.       Take the butter out of the fridge to soften, you will know its soft enough when you can easily shape it between your fingers but it is not greasy.

2.       Put the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer then place over a pot of boiling water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water

3.       Mix the egg whites and sugar until the egg whites are warm and the sugar has dissolved, you will know when it has reached this stage because if you rub the mixture between your finger you will not be able to feel any grains.

4.       Attach the bowl to your stand mixer and whisk on high until the mixture forms stiff peaks and is cool to the touch.

5.       Slowly add chunks of butter whilst the machine is till whisking. Do not worry if it thins out, just keep whisking until it comes back to a stiff texture.

6.       If the mixture is too soft to work with put in the fridge until it’s a good texture to work with.

7.       Fill and cover the cake with the buttercream

 

Decoration

          Selection of chocolate bars
          M&M’s or smarties
          Something to use as the border of the cake (I used kit-kats)

 

1.       Arrange the border chocolate around the edge and then tie a ribbon around the cake.

2.       Cut little crosses into the cake and then push in the chocolate bars into it. Put the longer bars at the back and the smaller ones in the front

3.       Use the smarties or M&M’s to fill in any gaps.

 

 

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