Sunday, 5 September 2010

Chocolate sponge cake with chocolate buttercream

I asked Mr CC whether he had any cake preferences for this weekend; his “chocolate cake” response was so rapid that I was left pondering whether he prepares an answer in advance, just in case the question is asked of him, or whether his answer would always be the same!


This is a classic chocolate sponge sandwich with a classic chocolate buttercream filling.
You could jazz it up with a Ganache topping, or a whipped cream and fruit filling, but I’ve gone for simplicity this week.


What I liked about this cake was that it was chocolaty but not overly rich; sometimes chocolate cakes head more into the dessert/truffle territory, which is lovely, but not what I was aiming for.
The sponge was light and soft but satisfyingly sticky too – definitely a tea time cake! If (like me) you sometimes find yourself eating a ‘grown up’ chocolate cake, fighting back grimaces at the bitterness and trying to kid yourself that you’re really enjoying the strong cocoa content chocolate, this may be the cake for you!


Not sure really why these sponges turned out to be such whoppers!
You’ll see from the ingredients that the volumes are fairly standard for a sponge sandwich. The sponges just rose, and rose, and rose. While they’re lovely light sponges the cake did look huge when stacked!


This post marks my blog’s third birthday!
Where has the time gone? It seems only yesterday that my friend Soo helped me take the first tentative steps into blog land (thanks Soo!) and I clearly remember the excitement when my daily hits got into double figures!


Google analytics provides constant entertainment with its detailed stats about my blog…well, I am an accountant…what do you expect!
Most of all I love the country analysis; I’ve never been able to get over the wonder of me baking a cake in my kitchen and then someone in Rwanda reading about it – I think we sometimes forget the awesomeness of the web.

Since my blog started back in September 2007 there are four countries whose readers average over 10 minutes per visit to my site; these aren’t single visit blips either. I think if I gave you all year to guess you wouldn’t get them! They are….

….in 4th place, with an average visit time of 10 mins 2 secs – Suriname….

….in 3rd place, with an average visit time of 10 mins 31 secs – French Polynesia…

…in 2nd place, with an average visit time of 11 mins 23 secs – the Marshall Islands…and….

….in 1st place, with a whopping average visit time of 14 mins 23 secs – drum roll please – Dominica!

A big hello to all my far-flung exotic readers!

The three most popular recipes on my site don’t seem to change – well, the top two don’t. It pleases me that they are classics with lovely flavours. In order of popularity they are:

1. Cherry Bakewells

2.Dark Jamaican ginger cake

3.Madeira cake

I’ll stop there before I bore you all to death with blog stats…I fear these might be like baby stories i.e. fascinating to the parents and dull as ditchwater to everyone else!

Here’s to the next year and the cakes I am yet to meet (i.e. eat)!


Ingredients

For the cake:

225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self raising flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
150ml milk

For the buttercream:

85g unsalted butter, at room temperature
170g icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon boiling water

Method

Preheat the oven to 160˚C/fan oven 140˚C/320˚F/Gas mark 3.

Line the bottoms and sides of two 20cm loose bottomed sandwich tins with baking paper.

Start by making the cakes: place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until pale, soft and fluffy. Don’t skimp on this stage as it’s the key to a light sponge.

Gradually beat in the eggs. If the mixture starts to curdle, beat in some of the flour.

Stir in the flour, cocoa powder and milk.

Spoon the batter into the prepared tins and level the surface.

Bake for approximately 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Mine took exactly 50 minutes.

Leave to cool in the tins on a wire rack.

When cool enough to handle, remove the sponges from the tin and leave to cool completely on the wire rack.

The sponges can be made a day in advance and stored in an airtight container overnight.

To make the buttercream: beat the butter until it is soft.

Sift the icing sugar over the butter along with the cocoa powder and water and beat until smooth, soft and well combined. The more you beat, the lighter and more whipped the buttercream will taste.

Place one of the sponges – flat side up – on the serving plate and spread the buttercream over it.

Place the remaining sponge – flat side down – onto the buttercreamed sponge.

If required, dust icing sugar over the top, but I never bother with this!

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.

Eat.

15 comments:

C said...

That looks so good!!! What a lovely simple recipe for such an outstanding result! I'm very impressed by the way they've risen, spectacular!

And I think that your stats are really interesting (but I have to admit to mentally switching off when people tell me stories about their babies....!) going to go and see if I have anything interesting in my stats!

Two Wednesdays said...

Sounds great - and what an amazingly risen cake - the sort that I see in cake books but never seem to achieve.....
Speaking of chocolate cake - it is not something I usually eat (despite being a chocoholic) - they always seem to disappoint - too dry, too bitter - always too much or not enough - so I shall look forward to trying this one. I also suggest The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake.Ever. from the Pioneer Woman Cooks blog. It really is a fabulous cake - I made it yesterday and oh dear I cannot resist it (nor can my children! The 3 year old normally just eats the icing on cake but this one he has eaten the icing and then the cake!).

Mind you - think the clotted cream cake could be next on the list.

Two Wednesdays said...

Sounds great - and what an amazingly risen cake - the sort that I see in cake books but never seem to achieve.....
Speaking of chocolate cake - it is not something I usually eat (despite being a chocoholic) - they always seem to disappoint - too dry, too bitter - always too much or not enough - so I shall look forward to trying this one. I also suggest The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake.Ever. from the Pioneer Woman Cooks blog. It really is a fabulous cake - I made it yesterday and oh dear I cannot resist it (nor can my children! The 3 year old normally just eats the icing on cake but this one he has eaten the icing and then the cake!).

Mind you - think the clotted cream cake could be next on the list.

Baking Addict said...

That chocolate sponge looks amazing. It's definitely very well risen! Happy 3rd birthday to your blog... here's to many more :)

Indie.Tea said...

Your cake looks delicious! It looks really decadent and rich yet light and fluffy. What an exquisite combination.

Cakelaw said...

Happy third blogiversary! I actually forgot to celebrate mine in May, and it's kinda too late now. Love this cake - it looks all light and fluffy and chocolatey and delicious. My ambition is to one day make your custard tart! And I love your occasional CCM tributes to David Tennant - the best Doctor ever.

Margaret said...

Happy third blog anniversary - is it really three years that we have been exchanging comments.

That is one mighty cake CC and beautiful too.

coco cooks said...

I love Google Anaylitics! Its amazing to see who reads you.
Be prepared for him asking for chocolate a lot.Men are set in their routine.;-)

Stephanie Savors the Moment said...

I just love the name of you blog - too cute! That cake looks positively divine as well. I am with you on the Google analytics - very interesting & amazing all the diferent reports there are to play with! I just signed up to follow you - stop by and visit sometime at www.stephaniesavorsthemoment.com. Looking forward to your next delicious post - Cheers!

Maisie said...

Happy Blog Birthday. I just love this stuff and so glad someone has come out for a decent tasting chocolate cake. Thank you.

Lisa said...

Happy birthday!

Speaking of birthdays, the hubster has one coming up and I'd like to steal your recipe. I usually make a very dense chocolate cake for him but this looks a treat, much prettier than what I usually slap together.

Maria♥ said...

Happy Blog Birthday!

This choc cake looks so fluffy and delish, I'd love a slice right now ;o)

Maria
x

Jo L. said...

I made this cake last week and although it didn't rise as much as yours it was quite impressively tall with a lovely light texture!

It was a lovely cake, like you I don't like my chocolate too rich or bitter but this recipe was spot-on.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Phebabes said...

Just the recipe I was looking for - made it this afternoon and it turned out beautifully. Chocolatey enough without straying into dark, bitter territory. My little boys gave it ten out of ten, a hurray and shook my hand - so thank you!!

Marcella Anderson said...

I cooked my cake for only 40mins and it turned out perfectly. Instead of icing sugar in the middle I layered some strawberry jam and cream, icing and crumbled flake on the top! Yummy treat for my sons birthday! First time I cooked a sponge, thanks for the receipe