Layers of decadent dark chocolate ganache and sponge peeking through ever so slightly topped with copper-brushed chocolate eggs, coffee meringue kisses and well, more chocolate! Easter is all about celebrating with family and friends, elaborate lunches and exchanging eggs of course; but why stop at chocolate eggs when you can go all the way and have eight layers of chocolate-y indulgence staring at you in the face! It’s been a busy few weeks but better late than never to share this one with you all. Easter or not, this cake is my go-to chocolate cake for every occasion and never ceases to amaze everyone in the room!
PREPARATION TIME: 1 hour 30 minutes, plus minimum 6 hours of chilling time
INGREDIENTS (serves 8)
For the sponge:(makes two sponges)
- 85g plain flour
- 20g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 large whole eggs
- 105g caster sugar
- 80g unsalted butter, melted
For the truffle:
- 450g dark chocolate
- 500ml double cream
- Peel of one orange
- 6 large egg yolks
- 65g caster sugar
Note: For this cake I’ve baked four sponges (double the ‘sponge recipe’) and layered them with the truffle filling.
(Recipe by Jemma Wilson)
For the coffee meringue kisses
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3 teaspoons espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
You will also need: Two 6″ loose-bottomed cake tins, an acetate sheet, a piping bag and 1 large round tip piping nozzle
For the sponge:
Grease and line 2, 6″ round baking tins.
Sift the plain flour and unsweetened cocoa powder together in a mixing bowl and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and caster sugar on a high-speed for about 5-7 minutes until it turns light and pale in texture and increases in volume.
Sift in the dry ingredients into the bowl and fold through gently. About halfway through, pour in the melted butter and continue to fold until thoroughly combined.
Equally divide the batter into the tins. Place in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted through the centre comes out clean.
Repeat the process to make two more sponges if you want a taller cake.
For the ganache:
In a sauce pan, infuse the double cream with the orange peel and place it on a low heat to simmer. Discard the peel and pour the cream over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute and stir through until smooth.
Set the bowl aside and whisk the eggs and caster sugar together over a bain marie. Add the chocolate ganache to the eggs and stir through until thoroughly combined. Set aside until cool.
To assemble the cake:
Line the acetate sheet along the perimeter of a 6″ loose-bottomed cake tin and secure the edge thoroughly with a bit of tape, such that the ganache would’t leak out.
Put one sponge at the bottom and ladle in a couple spoons of the truffle filling. Repeat by layering alternate layers of sponge and the filling .
Place the cake in the fridge to set for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight.
To serve the cake, de-mould it from the tin and wrap a warm, damp tea towel around the acetate to loosen it out. Carefully peel out the acetate sheet and there you have it a cheat’s way to a semi-naked layered cake!
You can fancy up the cake by topping it with loads of chocolate decorations, meringue kisses or anything you want really! The one in the photos was an Easter edition, so I’d topped it with chocolate eggs and coffee meringues and threw in some Maltesers for some crunch!
For the coffee meringue kisses: (optional for topping)
In a clean dry bowl, whisk together the egg whites until you achieve a soft peak. Gradually add in the sugar and continue to whisk until you have stiff speaks.
Add a little hot water to the coffee powder and mix until you have a gel like consistency. When the meringue is almost ready, gently stream in the coffee gel and the vanilla extract into the bowl while continuously whisking.
Transfer the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a round-tip nozzle and pipe blobs onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Place in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the outsides are hard to touch.
These meringues can be made in advance and stored in air-tight container for 2-3 days.
Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature when making the batter for best results.
Since this recipe doesn’t use any raising agents, it’s important to be gentle while folding through to avoid knocking the air out the batter.
Make sure to use loose-bottomed cake tins or you wont be able to get the cake out the tins once it’s set.
When making meringue, it it absolutely vital to have completely dry and grease-free kitchen equipment and also egg whites only! If you see a wee bit of yolk in there, you’re better off tossing it out and starting over.
Hope everyone’s having a great weekend!
Lots of love to all you readers!