It’s the 31st December. And I’m currently in a habit of stating the obvious, apparently. Let’s not talk about how quickly this year has gone, or that it seems to have been a year full of misery. From politics to personal, 2016 just doesn’t deserve to make the history books. So I won’t talk about it. Instead, let’s talk about this cake. It’s a bit extra I know; I’m clearly trying to make up for the fact that I didn’t provide my loyal readers with various festive bakes. In my defence… I tried. I had a really good idea, it just didn’t go how I planned. So for all those who ask how “everything I bake is so perfect first time” etc etc. It isn’t. Trust me. That one didn’t make the cut. By next Christmas, hopefully I’ll have refined it a little!
This cake is a chocolate cake, helped along the chocolate train with a little kick of espresso powder and sandwiched among pillows of mascarpone and vanilla frosting. There’s not much more to it than that – it’s simple, quick and can be as fussy or fuss-free as you wish to make it. I sprinkled popping candy between each layer, because New Year’s Eve and all that. Totally optional, and won’t affect the final flavour/look of the cake.
So I’ve deduced that people either love or hate the glittery chocolate thing, on top of the cake. One of my kind snapchatters informed me it looked like a baby’s ultrasound. I didn’t really know what to make of that. I thought it was kind of cool and edgy and arty. Evidently, that is subjective! The rest of the decorations are neither here nor there, and frankly, if it wasn’t NYE, I’d have just kept it simple with the frosting. But that’s because I’m boring.
Makes one 5” cake, serving 10-15
For the cake:
80g salted butter, softened
280g caster sugar
200g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1 tbsp espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the frosting:
100g butter, softened
200g icing sugar, sifted
Milk, if needed
Half a tub of mascarpone
1. Heat a fan oven to 160 degreed. Grease and line a 5” tin. Or, use whatever size tin you have and get flatter layers. If you use a normal 8” tin, only do two layers of this cake. Otherwise they will be too flat.
2. Using a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and cocoa powder until it resembles chocolaty breadcrumbs.
3. Add the eggs to the milk and give it a whisk. Stir in the vanilla and coffee. Add slowly to the rest of the cake mix until combined.
4. Weigh your cake batter, and divide in to three, or two depending on the size of your tin. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake skewer inserted comes out clean.
5. Leave the cakes to cool whilst you make the frosting. Beat the butter on high speed for about 5 minutes until pale. Add the icing sugar and beat. If it’s powdery, add milk a teaspoon at a time to bring it together. You want it to be pretty stiff. Then add the mascarpone to taste. Cover the surface with cling film and pop it in the fridge.
6. Once everything is cool, pipe the frosting over each layer, adding popping candy just on top. Stack, and decorate as you wish. For the chocolate decoration, simply melt some dark chocolate and smear it over a piece of crumpled baking parchment. Let it cool and peel back the parchment carefully. Spray with edible gold glitter spray for that fleeky cake highlight.
Keep in the fridge.
Happy New Year to everyone reading this post, I hope you have a lovely time with family/friends. And thank you to everyone for the messages after my last post.