Monday, 12 March 2012
Chocolate sponge cake
I make a lot of chocolate cakes, but I'd be hard pushed to have a favourite recipe. I do like rich, moist, gooey chocolate cakes but a decent chocolate sponge cake is not that easy to find. Well, at least I hadn't found one. However, I tried out a recipe from a cake decorating book my other half had bought me called The essential guide to cake decorating and it is fabulous and has immediately become my favourite chocolate sponge.
The sponge contains buttermilk and I think it might be this which makes all the difference. It is moist without being dense and gooey, holds it shape and isn't too crumbly, and not too sweet, rich, or tasteless. It is an excellent chocolate sponge and I will definitely be using it again. The recipe called for a deep 20cm round tin (at least the quantities I wanted to use fitted into this; the book is actually very helpful and provides ingredients quantities for all different tin sizes) and I didn't have one, so I made it in two 20cm sandwich tins. I baked it at a lower temperature and had to watch the time a little, but it worked brilliantly.
Unfortunately, I did realise when making the cake that although I had enough cocoa powder to make the cake, I didn't have enough to make chocolate buttercream as I had intended. However, I'd been shopping earlier in the evening and had, on a whim, bought the new Cadbury's chocolate Philadelphia as it was on offer and I wanted to see what it is like. On a side note, it is quite nice - not sweet and thick like chocolate spread but more like something you'd imagine on a cheesecake. Anyway, I mixed roughly equal quantities of this and chocolate spread (the non-nutty version) and used this instead. I spread a layer of apricot jam in between the cakes, then the chocolately mixture, and used the Philly/chocolate spread combo all over the outside of the cake. I only used a thin layer, as I also used Dr. Oetker's chocolate ready-to-roll icing to cover the cake. Despite my original slight disappointment at the icing not being more chocolately, I used it as it needed to be used!
In the end, I loved the icing. Maybe it was the combination of cake, spread and fondant or something that was different and it just worked better. In any case, I will be buying both the Cadbury's Philadelphia and the Dr. Oetker chocolate fondant again!
The flowers were made at my cake icing class using flower paste. I cut them out, used a ball tool to shape the petals then left them to dry. After that I coloured the flower paste a little more so it went darker, added this as a centre, then dusted some silver lustre dust over the top.
The cake was a very very belated birthday cake for my friend and we ate a lot of it over a weekend! As I said before though, definitely worth doing this recipe again!