CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE CAKE

This week has seen the good people of Britain out in their thousands to celebrate the birthday of a very special lady. Up and down the country tea parties on The Common were held in her honour as people huddled under soggy gazebos to enjoy a cucumber sandwich and a cuppa. Ladies and gentlemen, today the marks the culmination of events with the big day itself, my birthday.

shorty.jpef

Whoop, whoop! Go shorty, it’s your birthday…. gonna party like, eh well a 37 year old Mum on a Tuesday. School run followed by Scouts then football practice, YESSSSSSSSS! Fear not though, this day shall not pass without ridiculous amounts of cake scoffing to mark the occasion. And not just any old cake either, noooooooooo no no; the chocolate cake of all chocolate cakes, with copious amounts of amaretto incorporated at every possible opportunity.

Regular readers will know that I make a lot of cakes for other people. From cascading roses on a wedding cake to towering superhero birthday cakes, most weeks I can be found fiddling around with fondant. So it will come as no surprise that when my birthday rolls around a Madeira / Jam / Fondant combo doesn’t quite do it for me. Out goes the fluffy vanilla sponge in favour of dense, moist, alcohol soaked chocolatey-ness. Buttercream is replaced with the darkest of thick ganache; no form of fancy decor required bar dark chocolate truffles and a dusting of gold lustre because it makes me happy .

 

It’s a great big lump of a thing, in no danger of winning any beauty contests, but to me it’s the epitome of utter gorgeousness! The ultimate in self indulgence, each individual component made just the way I like it. This one is for the serious chocolate lovers:

Dense chocolate sponge layers, moist and laced with enough amaretto to produce a satisfying ‘squidge’ factor. This cake laughs in the face of Death By Chocolate!

Sandwiched with chocolate ganache, whipped to a spreadable consistency.

Coated in a layer of white amaretto buttercream, an aesthetically pleasing contrast to the thick dark chocolate (with a glug of amaretto) ganache topping.

Topped off with gold dusted truffles and a halo of gold confetti. 

*A choir of Angels sing*

I wish I could share a slice with you all but I’m afraid it’s virtual cake for now, sorry!

P.S. This cake is the realisation of my deepest darkest cakey fantasies but should anyone fancy giving it a go the recipe is below. Ironically this post was going to be about the backlash of the new National Obesity Forum report on low fat diets but it’s my birthday so sod it, here’s a cake with enough double cream to feed a Mall full of Royalists instead.

 

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II waves as sh

Chocolate Amaretto Cake of Dreams

Sponge 
135g plain flour
200g caster sugar
50g cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 large egg
150ml milk
75ml vegetable oil
75ml boiling water
75ml amaretto

Buttercream
120g butter, very soft
300g icing sugar
1 tblsp amaretto

Chocolate Ganache
400g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
200ml double cream
1 tblsp amaretto
cocoa for dusting

(You will use this ganache 3 ways, more on that later)

Heat oven to 180c. To make the sponge, mix all ingredients except boiling water and amaretto until well combined. Slowly add the boiling water and amaretto. This will give you a very wet looking mix – don’t panic. This is nothing like the sponge mix I would use for a standard cake – it’s more like a mud cake, very moist and dense.

Pour into a lined 6″ cake tin and bake for 1hr (checking with a skewer from around 45mins if the centre is baked, I usually cover the top of the cake in foil for the last 15mins). Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin, wrap in cellophane and transfer it to the fridge. I do this part a day or two in advance as I find it is easier to work with and also it means you can break the stages up depending on how much time you want to spend in the kitchen in one go!

To prepare the buttercream add icing sugar to butter and mix until fluffy, add amaretto very gradually to loosen the mixture to a spreadable consistency (you may not need all of it). Again you can prepare this a day or so in advance if you prefer. I don’t refrigerate mine as I don’t want it to firm up.

Next, the ganache mix, which will be used 3 ways. To sandwich the layers together, to cover the top of the cake and to make the decorative truffles. Place the chocolate chunks in a large bowl. In a saucepan bring the cream to a boil on medium heat, once it starts to boil immediately pour it over the chocolate and leave alone. The heat of the cream should be enough to melt the chocolate. After about 5 mins mix gently and allow to cool for a further 10 mins. Very slowly add the amaretto until combined.

Once cool separate the ganache mix into 3 – I use tupperware boxes. Place 1/3 in the fridge. Put 1/3 aside and pour 1/3 into the mixer. Whisk on high until the ganache starts to thicken and lightens in colour.

Remove sponge from fridge and slice into 3 equal layers. Use the whipped ganache to sandwich the layers together.

Use a thin layer of the  buttercream to cover the outside of the cake in a crumb layer. This should ‘catch’ most of the dark crumbs so they don’t ruin the end appearance. Refrigerate for 30mins and use the remaining buttercream to coat the cake. If you prefer a smooth finish on the cake run a large spatula knife around the edge and across the top to remove any lumps and bumps.Return to the fridge to allow the buttercream to firm up.

In the meantime take the fondant from the fridge which should be firm by now. Use a teaspoon to scoop a lump (however big you like your truffles!) and roll between your hands to make a ball shape. Roll in cocoa until covered. Set aside to firm up and repeat with remaining ganache.

Remove cake from fridge and pour the remaining 1/3 ganache on top so it overflows down the sides (use the back of a spoon to ‘help’ it if needed). Depending on how hot/cold your kitchen is this ganache may have started to set so you might need to loosen it up with a few seconds in the microwave to get a nice pourable consistency.

Finally top the cake with the truffles and whatever decoration takes your fancy (I used edible gold lustre and gold confetti). Voila! The most decadent, moist and sexy looking cake you’ve ever laid eyes on – ENJOY!

X

 

 

 

 

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96 Comments

  1. Hah hah! Happy Birthday Charlie! You definitely did the right thing to ditch the diet post in favour of a chocolate fantasy cake. Hope you had a good day with football practice etc. And let me know if that cake ever becomes a reality, because I’d LOVE a piece! It looks divine. #BigPinkLink xx

  2. Oh my absolute word! Total Amazeballs! Love the idea of the amaretto soaked sponge – inspired – would go nicely with the baileys I pop in double cream before I whip it – not that I need alcohol or anything! You are one very talented girl – inspired! #bigpinklink

  3. Oh this looks beyond yummy. It’s 8am here and I would easily take a slice or 2. Looks delicious. Actually hungry now I’m going to root out something a lot less tasty. #bloggerclubuk

  4. Wow! That’s a cake and a half!! Happy birthday 🙂 Would love to read that post on the backlash of the new National Obesity Forum report on low fat diets, though – sounds fascinating! 🙂 Eb x

  5. I spotted the cake on twitter and had to come and see it up close! Your description has made me drool…I’m so hungry now and need cake!! I hope you had a good birthday. I’m off to raid the cupboards for food! Good to link up. Alison x #coolmumclub

  6. Oh my!!! That is cake heaven! *now virtually tasting a mahoosive slice of this cake, even had to go and make another cup of tea to virtually wash it down with!! #PicknMix

  7. That cake looks delicious. My mouth is watering and I haven’t even had breakfast. The amaretto is a great touch. And lots of dark chocolate – White is not cocoa-y enough. Happy birthday. #fortheloveofBLOG

  8. Well I hope you had a fab day and more than one slice of that delicious cake! It looks gorgeous that’s brilliant that you made it yourself I’d definitely love to read the recipe. Here’s to lots of celebrations this week *clink* #justanotherlinky

  9. Ha! I spat my tea out laughing at that first paragraph! Happy Birthday lovely!! What a truly amazing cake, you certainly have a talent! Hope you had a fab birthday #fortheloveofBLOG x

  10. Wowwwwweeee! That cake is ‘the cake of dreams’ (cue Titanic theme tune) Happy Birthday lovely lady!

    I need to tell you off though because I’m absolutely starving whilst at my daughters swimming gala and nothing to eat since lunch 8 hours ago…and now I’m salivating and dreaming of taking a massive bite out of that amazing cake! #fortheloveofblog

  11. I hope you enjoyed your birthday (and the cake of course). This sounds amazing. It’s definitely a chocolate lover’s heaven!
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂
    Debbie

  12. I think I just fell in cake love! I am a true chocolate lover and can only imagine how incredibly fabulous this cake must taste. Happy Birthday to you dear! I’m hoping to make something decadent like this for my husbands birthday this summer. Mine usually taste good but don’t look that great. But this looks AMAZING! #ForTheLoveOfBlog

  13. Sounds like heaven on a plate! And definitely worthy of a 37 year old’s birthday on a Tuesday. Gah to football practice but yay to chocolate cake! Happy Birthday. x #bigpinklink

  14. Oh honey what a cake!! Hope you had a fabulous birthday and enjoyed that cake all to yourself! 🙂
    #fartglitter xx

  15. That is amazing! I am somewhat put out that you are expecting me to make my own & not offering to send me one! But I’ll let it go since it was your birthday! Hope you had a lovely day. #brilliantblogposts

  16. A very very belated happy birthday gorgeous…. oh my word that cake! I am in awe of your skills and can I move in please?!

    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie xx

  17. I may be posting twice thanks to a dodgy net connection! I am staring at my limp piece of wholemeal toast at breakfast judging it for not being cake….that is AMAZING. Come and live with me?!I made truffles the other day and had chocolate EVERYWHERE…licked it off my hands after…feeling bad that I buy cake now..should attempt a bake…x

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