I was making birthday cake for a lady who is a fantastic cook so i was super nervous and this had to be absolutely perfect!! And perfect it was, to look at and to taste. Nigella Lawson describes this cake "mood-enhancingly good" and the complimrnts i got for it definitely did enhance my mood!! :D
Most importantly it is soooo simple to make, you can hardly go wrong! Make it, even if you have never baked before!!
What you need:
FOR THE CAKE:
- 200g plain flour
- 200g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 40g best-quality cocoa
- 175g soft unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
- 150ml sour cream
- 75g unsalted butter
- 175g best quality dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 300g icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 125ml sour cream
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line and butter two 20cm tins with removable bases.
- Now all you have to do is put all the cake ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarb, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream - into a food processor and process until you have a smooth, thick batter. You can also throw everything into a bowl and use a hand blender to mix together.
- Divide this batter, into the prepared tins and bake for about 35 minutes, but it is wise to start checking at 25.
- Remove the cakes, in their tins, to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of their tins.
- To make this icing, melt the butter and chocolate in a good-sized bowl either in the microwave or suspended over a pan of simmering water.
- While the chocolate and butter are cooling a little, sieve the icing sugar into another bowl.
- Add the golden syrup to the cooled chocolate mixture, followed by the sour cream and vanilla and then when all this is combined whisk in the sieved icing sugar.
- Choose your cake stand or plate and cut out four strips of baking parchment to form a square outline on it (this stops the icing running on to the plate). Then sit one of the cakes, uppermost (ie slightly domed) side down.
- Spoon about a third of the icing on to the centre of the cake half and spread with a knife or spatula until you cover the top of it evenly. Sit the other cake on top, normal way up, pressing gently to sandwich the two together.
- Spoon another third of the icing on to the top of the cake and spread it in a swirly, textured way (though you can go for a smooth finish if you prefer, and have the patience). Spread the sides of the cake with the remaining icing and leave a few minutes till set, then carefully pull away the paper strips.
- I topped these with beautiful sugar flowers to give me the elegance I desired.