This is going to be a short post as, you will see, I’ve already blogged this cake. Well, a primitive form of it, I like to think ;). It is none other than the Best Ever Chocolate Pound Cake of my very first blog post, plus my newly created recipe for chocolate Italian meringue buttercream.
When my friend San (of the baby shower ducky cupcake fame!) asked me to make her hubby a cake for his 40th birthday tomorrow with the only instructions being “it must be chocolate, just chocolate” I knew which cake recipe I had to make! The rest of it was some what of a surprise to me as it is to everyone else – I just daydreamed for a day or two until the recipe for the frosting and a concept to cover the cake with pieces of childhood favourite choccie bars was born.
So what do you need to know about this cake? It’s a huge amount of batter and makes a 10-12 cup bundt cake, two 12x6x1 inch sponges as I’ve done here, three 2 lb loaf cakes or about 24 cupcakes. It keeps phenomenally well – hard though it is, I don’t eat it on day one any more as the moisture it gets from a day of being left, well wrapped but not filled or bestowed with any other adornment, is nothing short of chocolate heaven. This, ladies and gents, is the sticky gingerbread left to mature for a few days of the chocolate cake world. A very versatile cake that is sturdy enough to sugar paste but just as rich and decadent served merely with a shower of cocoa powder and a pot of tea or freshly brewed coffee. A shot of frangelico or Tia Maria is the after dark version some of you may prefer though 😉
So, go forth and bake, my little ones! You’ll never taste a more perfectly “plain” cake with more complexity of taste and luxuriant mouthfeel. Nor will you find a lighter yet more definitely chocolate frosting.
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- Good pinch of salt 200g soft butter
- 2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 100g dark chocolate
- 125-150g milk chocolate
- Begin by melting the chocolate over a pan of just simmering water in a heat proof bowl - use more milk chocolate if you like - be reassured this is not a sickly sweet frosting at all!
- Put the sugar with 100ml of water in a tall heavy bottomed saucepan with a sugar thermometer clipped in place.
- Bring the sugar to a boil rapidly and as the sugar approaches 121˚C (which takes me upto 10 minutes of standing and watching - do NOT leave boiling sugar unattended!) start whisking your egg whites and salt on medium speed.
- When the sugar has caramelised and the egg whites are frothy and tripled in volume, turn the stand mixer speed up to high and very very slowly but in a steady steam, pour the caramel between the side of the bowl and the revolving whisk.
- It may sizzle and splash a tiny bit but don't be scared!
- Once all the boiled sugar has been incorporated, continue whisking on high until the bowl feels room temp again (careful - a metal bowl will heat up on adding the sugar)
- Turn down the speed to medium and spoon in the butter a teaspoon at a time slowly but surely
- Add in the vanilla then pour in the cooled but melted chocolate.
- Turn up the speed once more and whip until thick and creamy - it may only take another 20-30 seconds.
- Keeps well for 3 days covered in the fridge or frozen for one month - bring to room temp before using & beat well to bring back to desired consistency.