Thursday, 9 May 2013

Best ever chocolate cake

May is a busy month for us. We both celebrate our birthdays and sandwiched between them is our wedding anniversary. As well as lots of presents, this also means lots of cake!

My husband's birthday comes at the start of the month and, as always, he requested a chocolate cake. Always on the lookout for a new recipe, I thought I'd try something from my tried and trusted Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. It's always a little risky to try a new recipe for an important occasion, but I felt confident with the disaster of Bobble's birthday cake put behind me. So I settled upon the 'Brooklyn Blackout Cake'.

I'm pleased to report that I can confirm this that is a flipping brilliant recipe for chocolate cake. The cake is seriously chocolaty, light and moist.

The recipe 

(taken from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)
  • 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 260g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 45g cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 170g plain flour
  • 160 ml whole milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 170c (325 Degrees F) or Gas Mark 3.
  2. Put the butter and sugar in a free-standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment, or use a handheld electric whisk and cream until light and fluffy. 
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. 
  4. Turn the mixer down to slow speed and beat in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until well mixed. 
  5. Add half the flour, then all the milk, and finish with the remaining flour. 
  6. Mix well until everything is well combined. 
  7. Pour the mixture into the two prepared cake tins and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30mins. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tins before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
There is a second part to the recipe which involves creating a chocolate custard and crumb coating to finish the cake, but I didn't bother with this as I had other plans for the decoration!

Instead, I made a chocolate buttercream to completely cover and sandwich the cake together. I then stuck chocolate fingers to the outside of the cake (I used almost 3 boxes!) before finishing it off with a few malteasers and the all important birthday candles.

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