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:
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)!
For the cake:
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
For the buttercream:
85g unsalted butter, at room temperature
170g icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon boiling water
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.