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December 14, 2021
The best things come in small packages they say. Here’s a cute little number I made for Michael’s birthday that punched above its weight on intense flavour and paired well with an afternoon champagne. Rather than my more usual buttercream coating, it’s covered in a smooth rich ganache.
Ingredients:Cake: 225g plain flour310g sugar75g cocoa powder60 ml vegetable oil2 eggs (beaten)175 ml buttermilk165 ml tepid water1 tsp vanilla essence¾ tsp baking powder½ tsp bicarbonate of soda½ tsp salt
Vanilla Buttercream:100g unsalted butter (room temp)140g icing sugarA few drops of vanilla extract
Chocolate Ganache:250g dark chocolate chips250g double cream
Method:Cake:Preheat oven to 160⁰C (fan). Grease and line springform cake tins. For this birthday cake I used four 10cm cake tins. Place the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb of soda and salt in a large bowl and combine all ingredients. Add the eggs, buttermilk, water, oil and vanilla and beat on a low speed to incorporate and then turn up to medium. Beat until everything is mixed, (it is quite a wet consistency).
Divide mixture between the prepared trays and place in the oven. Depending on the size of the tins that you use, bake for appx 20-25 mins (less if smaller tins). A skewer inserted should come out clean. Once ready, take out the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. After the cakes have cooled, level off each cake so they all have flat tops.
Buttercream:Place the butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and beat for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
Ganache:Place the chocolate chips in a large bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan over a low heat until the edges start to bubble, (do not boil), and then pour this over the chocolate. Allow to stand for a couple of minutes and then mix until all is fully combined and you have a smooth texture, (you can also whisk it). Allow to cool for the desired consistency.
The cake:To assemble the cake, place a layer of vanilla buttercream onto the top of one of the cakes, then place another cake on top, layer buttercream, place another cake on top and then repeat one more time, (don’t buttercream the top layer of the top cake). Place in the fridge to for half an hour to set.
For the chocolate ganache, cover the whole cake using a palette knife and then an icing spreader/smoother. At this stage decorate as desired. I used white chocolate stars and then piped buttercream and ganache, topping it off with toasted chopped hazelnuts.
Gaby Van Clarke
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