Sunday, 23 November 2008

Glazed chocolate cream cake

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday Caked Crusader, happy birthday to me. And so on. OK, so my birthday was yesterday but the cake was today – and I’m sure you’ll appreciate which was the more important!

Yes, I am one year older (I hesitate to add “and wiser”) and what better way to celebrate than eating a sinfully rich, chocolatey cream cake? This cake is a beauty – quite simply the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten. Every layer has a different texture and is just plain divine!

Unlike many chocolate cakes it gives a really strong hit of cocoa and although very rich, the cream filling lightens the eating you can eat lots of it!

The chocolate sponge is rich and delicious:

It’s a layer cake. Here is the bottom layer in the tin:

Add a layer of rich chocolate cream:

I played with the recipe a little. Originally the chocolate cream sandwiched the cake, but when I saw how thick the chocolate cream was, even I baulked at it being too solid and rich. So I decided to lighten some of the chocolate cream by adding it to whipped cream and making a lighter mousse! In other words, my solution to something being too rich and heavy was to add lots more cream to it. It made sense at the time....

The thick cream filling means that you serve the cake as it is – there is no need for any additional cream; it would almost be gilding the lily.

For such an impressive looking cake there is nothing tricky in the making. The sponge cake part is actually embarrassingly easy. The chocolate cream filling requires a little concentration but again, please don’t think it’s complicated to make.

I made the sponge and the cream the day before I wanted to serve the cake. On the morning of the day, I assembled the cake and made the chocolate glaze. Once assembled the cake must be refrigerated for at least an hour before serving.
We all agreed that you have to plunge the fork down and make sure you get a bit of each layer in every mouthful.

As the recipe also provided the quantities in cups, I include them in the ingredients list below.

The great thing about everyone knowing your obsessions is that you get themed gifts. Look at this lovely cake stand I got from my friend Soo:

For the cake:
150g (1 cup) plain flour
50g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200g (1 cup) caster sugar
250ml (1 cup) milk (whole or semi skimmed)
90g (1/3 cup) unsalted butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate cream:
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
50g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cornflour
375ml (1 ½ cups) double cream, plus a further 420ml (1 2/3 cups) i.e. 795ml in total
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate glaze:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
150g (1 cup) icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Additional: water or cream to reach the right consistency

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Butter a 23cm springform round cake tin and then dust with some cocoa powder.
- Start by making the cake: place the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and sugar in a bowl and mix together.
- Into the dry mix, beat in the milk, butter, egg and vanilla until well combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out cleanly. Mine took 45 minutes.
- Leave to cool for approximately 15 minutes in the tin, before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely.
- Now make the chocolate cream filling: In a medium saucepan stir together the sugar, cocoa, and cornflour.
- Gradually stir in 375ml of the cream.
- Simmer over a medium heat stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and starts to boil.
- Boil for 1 minute, stirring all the time.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
- Transfer to a bowl and cover with clingfilm, making sure that the clingfilm is pressed directly onto the surface of the cream.
- Leave to cool to room temperature before refrigerating until you build the cake.
- On the morning of the day that you wish to serve the cake slice the sponge into two layers and place the bottom layer on the plate you will serve the cake from. Put the side of the springform pan over the sponge (i.e. the tin without the base) as this will give a nice mould for the finished cake. Spoon 1/3 of the cold chocolate cream onto the base and spread evenly.
- Flip the top layer of sponge and spread 1/3 of the chocolate cream onto it. Put to one side.
- Whip up 420ml of double cream to soft peak stage. Add the remaining 1/3 of chocolate cream to it and continue to whisk until you have a firm mousse consistency. Spread over the bottom layer of sponge and then put on the top layer of sponge.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes of so before removing the tin and making the glaze.
- To make the glaze: melt the butter and water in a saucepan and then remove from the heat.
- Stir in the cocoa powder.
- Using an electric whisk, beat in the icing sugar and vanilla until smooth. I found I needed to add a further 5 tablespoons of cream before I reached the thick but still spreadable stage.
- Leave to cool slightly before pouring over the cake. This will stop all the glaze just running off the sides!
- Chill in the refrigerator for a further hour before serving.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

Many many happy returns of the day ! Many more chocolate filled life to you. Nice recipe, well made.
Cheers !

April said...

Happy birthday to you! That cake looks incredible

April xx

Joanna said...

happy birthday!!! this is definitely a bangin cake! i love making my own birthday cake, too. my mom thinks it's weird, but then again, maybe it is haha i hope you had a great day!!

Margaret said...

Now that's a bit sad singing happy birthday to yourself. My grandson sang happy birthday to himself when it was his birthday too!!!!
Fabulous cake to make for 'ones' birthday.

glamah16 said...

Happy Birthday my friend. Keep the cakes coming.

trashalou said...

obviously all the best people have birthdays on the 22nd. My girl was 10 then too ;-)

I made her a chocolate and vanilla chequerboard cake, made a change from last year's barbie pink and vanilla chequerboard cake (do you see a theme developing?)

Maria said...

Happy Birthday! What a great cake to celebrate!!

Patty O. said...

Happy birthday! And thanks for this recipe. I have finally decided what cake to make for my birthday next month and this is it. I can't wait. Just looking at these pictures is making my mouth water. Now all I have to do is find someone to help my husband and kids and I eat it or else I will probably eat the entire thing...

Katie said...

Happy belated Birthday! Wow your cake looks divine - I love all the different chocolaty layers.

As a birthday present I have given you an award, go to my blog to collect it :)

Bake your cake and eat it too said...

That looks SO good! I love spongebob on there also. Happy belated birthday. With that cake, it couldn't have been a bad day.

Swati said...

Happy Belated birthday.... The recipe looks very very good and will give it a shot soon...maybe make it on my bday too .. :))

Cakelaw said...

Happy belated birthday Crusader! And what a fabulous cake you made for yourself. I hope that you also received delicious treats from others and had a wonderful day.

Rosie said...

Happy Birthday C.C. - your cake looks stunning :)

Rosie x

Cakelaw said...

Hi Crusader

I have given you an award, which you can find here:

Kevin said...

I hope you had a great birthday! That cake looks good!

Premyscakes said...

Hope enjoyed your birthday! That was too chocolaty and my chocolate is my favourite , interesting recipe.

PG said...

Belated Happy Birthday! The cake looks marvelous!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

I'm so sorry I missed this one--happy belated birthday! I know if anyone could celebrate their birthday with an appropriate cake, its you--that looks awesome!