Last week I had the tricky task of making a cake for my Dad’s birthday. Easy I hear you say! However this is a man who doesn’t have a sweet tooth and isn’t a big cake fan… So I surrounded myself in a mountain of cookbooks, trawled the internet for hours, but settled on an old favourite – this dark chocolate and fresh raspberry cake.
The cake recipe is enough for two layers, however I’ve gone for three here to make it extra special. To decorate the sides I have used Cadbury’s chocolate fingers (for an 8 inch tin you will need just over 2 packets), you can also use chocolate cigarellos for a more professional look (these are available online or in good cake decorating shops) but be aware: they can be pricey.
For the cake:
- 150ml Milk
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 Eggs
- 200g Caster Sugar
- 175g Plain Flour
- 3 tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
For the filling:
- 150ml Double Cream
- 125g Fresh Raspberries
For the dark chocolate Ganache:
- 150ml Double Cream,
- 150g Good Quality Dark Chocolate- minimum 70% cocoa solids
- 1 tbsp Golden Syrup
- Fresh Raspberries
- Chocolate Fingers or Chocolate Cigarellos
Preheat the oven to 170c/gas mark 3, grease and line two round cake tins.
Pour the milk into a small pan with the butter and heat until warm and the butter has melted. When hot, add the vanilla.
Combine the flour, cocoa powder and bicarb in a bowl and set aside.
In another bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs and sugar using an electric whisk until really light and frothy. Still beating the eggs and sugar, slowly pour in the milk mixture and when incorporated, slowly fold in the flour-bicarb-cocoa mixture with a spatula by hand.
Divide this mixture between the two tins and bake for about 15-20 minutes.
Remove to a wire rack and let cool in their tins for about 10 minutes before turning the cakes out. Before icing the cakes, they will need to be comletely cool. You can make them a day in advance, but they are sticky so you must wrap them in baking parchment before wrapping in foil.
To make the filling, whisk the cream until soft peaks form then gently stir in the raspberrys being careful not to over-mix. Ideally the filling will be white with swirls of pink raspberry. Sandwich between the two layers.
To make the ganache, put the cream, chocolate, and syrup in a pan over low to medium heat until the chocolate has just melted. Take off the heat and start whisking by hand whisk until you have a smooth, glossy mixture (this won’t take long at all).
Pour onto the top of the cake, and then spread, preferably with a palette knife, to the edges. Don’t worry too much about it dripping down the sides, especially if you are using chocolate fingers.
Decorate the top with fresh raspberries and using a little of the ganache as glue, stick chocolate fingers around the sides. Use a ribbon to keep the fingers in place until the ganache has set.