Saturday, 1 June 2013

Epic Chocolate cake

 I have always made it my mission in life to make the perfect chocolate cake, a catalyst for this is probably the film Matilda, when Miss Trunchbull made a little boy eat the most delicious looking giant chocolate cake. I have made a fair few chocolate cakes over the years, and I think that I have come very close to making the perfect chocolate cake a few times but have still continued on my mission of cake excellence. I have tried Ina Garten's famous "Beattys chocolate cake" but I found it slightly dry and I did not like the frosting, it wasn't the rich chocolate taste I was hoping for. I tried Martha Stewart's chocolate cake but unlike Ina's it was moist but lacked the flavour of the beattys chocolate cake sponge. I think there has to be the right balance of light moist rich chocolaty sponge, but the frosting has to be outrageously chocolaty. I have discovered a few little tricks on my mission to chocolate Elysium so of course I will share my calorific cake. This is most definitely the ultimate cake for chocoholics, but possibly a nightmare for dieters, it is most definitely worth treating yourself every once in a while. I have to say my little son knows how to eat a good cake, diving into it head first like Tom Daley.
Mission complete!

You will need:(for the sponge)
300g of plain flour
275g of caster sugar
175g of muscovado sugar
90g of good quality cocoa powder
1 tsp of baking powder
2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp of sea salt
240ml of buttermilk
160ml of vegetable oil
2 extra large eggs or three medium
1 tsp of vanilla extract
240ml of hot brewed coffee
1 tbsp of black treacle
1 tbsp of malt extract

For the frosting:
You will need:
600ml of double cream
400g of good quality dark chocolate
200g of tinned caramel
2 tsp of maldon sea salt or 1 tsp of regular sea salt
150g of icing sugar
1 tbsp of malt extract

For the cooked sponges:
100ml of dark rum
100ml of coca cola

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees c. 

Grease, line the bottom and lightly flour three 8 inch sandwich tins (make sure they have a fixed bottom).
I a stand mixer or in a bowl whisk the eggs, sugars, buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla, treacle, malt extract and salt together until the sugars almost dissolve into the batter and all lumps are well mixed in. Sift the flour, bicarb, cocoa powder,and baking powder together so they are thoroughly combined, then fold this into the buttermilk mixture, do this until the flour is just incorporated, if you mix it any more it will toughen the sponge. Lastly add the hot coffee and mix until just combined. Divide the batter between the three tins and then place in the oven straight away for 30-40 mins (depending on if you have a fan assisted oven, they are a little quicker) until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean, the sponges at the top of the oven may cook faster so you just have to keep your eye on the sponges.
Allow the cakes to cool thoroughly in their tins.
Meanwhile place a sauce pan onto a medium heat and add the cream and chocolate, stir and heat them together until fully melted and mixed well, add the caramel, salt, malt and sieved icing sugar and then whisk until fully incorporated. Remove from the heat and allow to cool or decant into a bowl and refrigerate until it hardens a little and is a spreadable consistency.
To assemble the cake, place one of the sponges (remove the grease proof on the base of the cake) on your chosen cake plate or platter. Slide four pieces of grease proof under the sponge so that it covers the plate edges to protect it from mess, but can be easily pulled away once the cake is frosted.
Mix the coca cola and rum together and brush the first sponge well so that it is very moist, then spread the chocolate frosting over the first sponge, then top with the second layer, repeat the brushing with the rum and coke and then spread with more frosting. Lastly top with the final sponge and spread the frosting over the top and the sides with a palate knife, this can be as rough or and neat as you can muster. Remove the greaseproof sheets from under the cake to reveal a clean plate YAY!!

 Allow the cake to set for an hour and then dive it.

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