This was my first attempt at a 'proper' cake and also first attempt at butter icing and piping...... If I can do it - anyone can !! Clearly my presentation needs quite a bit of work as I'm sure it would have Mary Berry hyperventilating, but I was quite pleased with it as a starting place...
You need quite a bit of time as the cake needs to cool down before you attempt to ice it, but as you do it in stages its easy to fit around other things you may be doing around the house wether that be cleaning, watching TV or drinking wine and chatting with friends via SKYPE. As long as you are around to keep an eye on the cake in the oven and to stop people taking a slice before it is iced !! First you need to make the chocolate cake. I make two sponges as I find it easier than cutting and also you have a better chance that they are both cooked evenly.
170g unsalted butter - softened 170g caster sugar
115g flour sifted with 1 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs 55g cocoa powder
pinch of salt
Cream the butter and sugar.
Add a third of the flour and one egg and mix well.
follow this process for the rest of the flour and eggs.
The batter should be smooth, if it is stiff add a splash of water.
Divide the mixture into 2 cake tins and bake for about 25mins at 170/190 C until springy to touch.
While the cake is baking you can make the buttercream icing and fill the icing bag ready...
Turn out and allow to cool before adding the filling.
This is where I cheated - slightly, as I bought the granache for the filling from Tesco's finest range !! You can use a layer of jam and fresh cream or even make more of the buttercream filling and use that. Its really up to you and your taste buds.
The buttercream Icing
50g good quality dark chic 100g unsalted butter softened
200g icing sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract
a little milk
Melt the chic in a bowl over hot water (or a bain Marie if you have one !!)
Beat the butter in a bowl until soft slowly adding the icing sugar.
Add vanilla and beat again.
Fold in the melted choc until fully mixed. If the mixture is too stiff you can add a little milk.
put the cake on the plate it will be served on - as it will be difficult to move later on !!
Using a 'rose' attachment on your piping bag fill the bag with the icing and get to work on decorating the cake. I started on the top and worked my way down the side. Keep a knife to hand incase you make a mistake - you can scoop up the icing and put it back in the piping bag and try again. If you aren't confident the you can always practice on some parchment paper first !!
This cake needs to be stored in a cool place until served.
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