Monday 26 October 2015

berries and cream chocolate cake

I made this cake one afternoon when my mother in law was coming over for afternoon tea. I don't usually go cake crazy on a Sunday afternoon, but she was about to go overseas for a couple of weeks so it seemed justified, and you know, cake... I posted a photo over on instagram and have had lots of requests for the recipe, thank you! It's basically this cake minus the hazelnuts, smothered in cream and topped with berries. Enjoy, with or without your mother in law :)

chocolate almond sponge

165g plain flour

25g cocoa powder
50g ground almonds(almond meal)
80g butter  
7 jumbo, or 8 large, eggs at room temperature
200g sugar
2 punnets of berries

• preheat oven to 160ÂșC, butter and flour two 20cm cake tins

• melt the butter in a small pan over a gentle heat, allow to cool (feel free to use the microwave, if a small child hasn't set fire to it attempting to pop corn or defrost a muffin, we don't have a great track record with microwaves...)
• tip flour, cocoa powder and ground almonds into a food processor, blitz for 30 seconds then repeat
• sieve the mixture over a large bowl, if there is more than a teaspoon of nut rubble left in your sieve, repeat the processing stage, sieve your nut/flour/cocoa mix twice more
• using an electric mixer, preferably a stand mixer this takes a while, whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and thick, it will take 6 to 8 minutes...
• sift a third of the flour mix over the eggs/sugar, fold in gently using a metal spoon; repeat twice more with the remaining flour then gently fold in the melted butter, make sure to lift the mixture from the bottom of the bowl as the butter will pool there
• divide your mix evenly between the tins, bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes, when cooked the cake will have shrunk away from the side of the tin, the centre will spring back when gently pressed
• gently run a knife around the inside of the tins and turn the cakes onto a cooling rack

ganache filling

175g dark chocolate

125ml cream

• finely chop the chocolate, put into a small heatproof bowl

• heat the cream in a small pan until just simmering, simmer for 1 minute then pour over the chocolate, do not stir, let stand for 5 minutes
• stir cream and chocolate until smooth and glossy
• cool at room temperature until it is thick enough to hold its shape, think smooth peanut butter; you can put it in the fridge to speed the process up, but the ganache will lose some of its gloss

cream filling

500ml whipping cream
200g mascarpone
2 tbsp caster sugar
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
40ml ameretto, optional

 combine the ingredients in a bowl and whip together until soft and pillowy

to construct the cake

• choose the neatest cake, keep this for the top layer
• place the bottom cake layer on a turntable if you have one, not essential but will make the job  easier, spread with a thick layer of ganache and top with a layer of berries
• spoon roughly 1/3 cream filling onto the centre of your cake, gently spread outwards, stopping just short of the edge; when you add your top layer it will squish the cream to the edge
• gently top with the other layer, bottom side up
• put the cake into the fridge for about 10 minutes to firm up, this will make it easier to frost
scoop half the remaining cream filling onto the top of your cake, and using an offset pallet knife (again not essential but easier) spread the cream to the edge of the cake, pushing it slightly over the edge
• using the left over cream and the cream that you pushed over from the top, coat the sides of the cake, then use the edge of your pallet knife or a scraper to remove the excess cream, hopefully leaving a neat edge
• there will be a small rim of frosting that sticks up over the top of your cake, again using a pallet knife (such a nifty tool) gently drag the frosting towards the centre of the cake
• decorate with the remaining berries, serve straight away or pop into the fridge, take it out about half an hour before you plan to eat it

I really wasn't planning to blog this when I took the photos, apologies for all the lines and crazy angles, hope they don't hurt your head ;)


Jess Joseph said...

Hi! You have 'cream' and 'whipping cream' in your list of ingredients. Are they the same thing?

D & R said...

Hi Sally,

I'm planning to try this recipe out tomorrow, it looks delicious.

I was wondering if you used a springform or a normal cake tin?

Thanks heaps and thanks so much for posting up this recipe!!!

simmer and boyle said...

Hi Jess, sorry to take so long to reply, I missed your comment. Cream types are so confusing! In Australia, cream labelled "whipping cream" has been designed to whip quickly and hold its shape; it typically has thickeners and a gelling agent added and has around 35% fat. For the ganache I again use cream with a fat content of 35%, I've actually used thickened cream, whipping cream and regular pouring cream and all have worked fine, I think the key is the 35% fat content. Hope this helps ;) S

simmer and boyle said...

Hi there! so happy you're are trying this cake! I use plain aluminium cake tins, 8 inch diameter by 2 inches high. I generally use aluminium tins as I find they bake evenly and the cakes don't colour too quickly around the sides and base. Hope you enjoy the cake :) S

simmer and boyle said...

ps. if you are concerned the cakes might stick, you could always line the base of your tins with baking paper for added security;)