Birthdays are just another reason to bake a cake, don’t you think? A couple of weeks ago, it was one of my brother’s birthdays. Now, he has a very big sweet tooth so during his birthday, I tend to make the most indulgent cakes simply because if I know anything, he will enjoy it.
Last year, I made Red Velvet Cheesecake (sadly unblogged) which had a cheesecake in between two layers of Red Velvet cake, all covered with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting. This year, I planned to make two cakes. One cake to bring to a family event with our extended family, and another to have just at home on the actual day. This is the first cake. Enjoy!
- 250g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 150g good quality dark chocolate
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 300g caster sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 150g self-raising flour
- 4 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
- 300g good quality dark chocolate (70%) plus extra to serve
- 1 large knob of butter
- 1 splash of double cream
- 100g puffed rice cereal
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 3 tablespoons runny honey
- 200g caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a deep 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin and line the base and sides with a double layer of greaseproof paper.
- Chop up the chocolate and melt in the microwave with the butter, oil and sugar over until smooth and glossy.
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then, using an electric hand whisk at high speed, one-by-one beat in the eggs until combined.
- Sift in the flour and cocoa with a pinch of sea salt and beat for a short while until just combined.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for around 50 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out ever so slightly gooey (the top of the cake will rise up and crack slightly, but don't worry, it'll end up covered by all your lovely toppings).
- Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Place on a cake stand, use a long knife to carefully slice the sponge into 3 equal rounds and remove the top two sponges to separate plates.
- Chop up the chocolate and melt with the butter and cream in a large heatproof bowl in the microwave until smooth and glossy.
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes (to avoid soggy cereal!), then stir in the puffed rice until evenly coated.
- Divide the mixture onto the 3 cooled sponge layers and spread out evenly across the tops, going right to the edges.
- To make the nougat frosting, place the egg whites in a heatproof bowl with the honey, sugar, cream of tartar, a good pinch of salt and a splash of water.
- Place over a pan of gently simmering water, turn up the heat and, with an electric hand whisk, beat for 6 to 7 minutes or until it starts to form peaks.
- Remove the bowl from the heat, add the vanilla extract, then carry on beating the mixture until thick. Leave to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then evenly top each sponge and stack them up nicely.
- To finish the cake off, use a large knife to shave some extra chocolate, then sprinkle it over the top. Or just use Oreos, like I did. Add your candles or sparklers, get them lit and indulge in chocolate celebration cake heaven
Of course, it’s particularly fitting that this recipe comes from Jamie Oliver, king of comfort food. You can see that this recipe is pretty indulgent, especially with the added chocolatey rice crispie layer and the nougat frosting. It’s certainly a change from the usual chocolate cake with chocolate frosting – not that there’s anything wrong with that either!
With all the different components, this cake was actually quite a chore to make. They weren’t difficult to do, not really. Just a lot to do. Add to the fact that I had work and wanted to take the pictures in daylight, I had to finish up the cake early in the morning before work. But in the end, the work involved doesn’t matter if the result is worth it. So was it worth it?
Well, this is a terribly handsome cake, I have to say. It looks fabulous, with the three layers of three different components, topped with Oreos. However…
Maybe we were cutting too small slices (we have a rather large family), it was kind of hard to keep the layers together. In the end, the cake broke apart. and you had to eat them all separately anyway. I also thought that the rice crispie layer was a bit… out, in terms of texture. I liked the idea of it, but somehow, it didn’t go too well with the rest of the components. Plus, through my own fault, the cake was a bit dry because it was overbaked.
It’s not all bad though. The nougat frosting got a very good reception. And I have to say, it is quite delicious. Kind of like… a liquid marshmallow, only better. Plus, people had this with ice cream. Nothing can go wrong with cake and ice cream.
In any case. This is my last post for 2014. Hope everyone will have a good year ahead, and keep on reading YummyGraphy in 2015!