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Hi there,

Three posts in two days…I am doing well this week!

When I asked my Husband a couple of weeks back what type of birthday cake he’d like this year he picked out one of the Cake Club recipes from the July issue of Good Food Magazine. At first I was a little daunted as there seemed to be quite a few processes involved.

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However, there comes a time in your life where you find the perfect bake, when everything goes to plan and the cake looks as good as it tastes. I found this to be the case with this dreamy cake and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out considering it was the first time I had made it.

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The recipe makes a bold statement with its claim of the ‘best chocolate cake ever’ and for once they weren’t lying. I love cakes that include oil and buttermilk as I find it makes the sponge incredibly light and moist and this was no exception. In fact I don’t think I’ve made a better sponge. Both cakes turned out to be light, airy and an even bake, although I was expecting the sponges to be a bit bigger. However, on reflection it was a good job they weren’t as the cake would have been massive otherwise!

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I gave my sponges an extra two minutes so in total they were in the oven for 32 minutes and they were perfectly cooked. And so while they were cooling I started on the next stage, which was to make the passion fruit jellies and the passion fruit mousse and it wasn’t as labour intensive as I was expecting.

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After extracting the passion fruit juice and simmering it with coconut cream I added the gelatine leaves and some reduced Malibu and coke. Long story short is that the recipe asks for 6tbsp of rum liquor and the plan was to buy a miniature bottle of Malibu, but unfortunately I couldn’t find a small bottle and so I ended up buying a can of Malibu and coke…Cheap scape that I am. But in the end I only used a tiny amount in the mousse and not in the sponge layers as my Husband thought it would ruin the cake!

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The next step was to create the passion fruit jellies, which was just a matter of pouring some of the passion fruit mixture into two empty passion fruit shells and then leaving them to chill and set in the fridge.

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Once the jellies had been done I then sliced the cakes in half before starting the passion fruit mousse, which again was a really simple process. After lightly whisking 300ml double cream I then folded in what was left of the passion fruit mixture and it was at this stage that I was a little uncertain as I wasn’t completely sure what the texture of the cream should be like. I was expecting it to be like a thick cream which would hold it shape. However, mine was much runnier so I thought I’d ruined it by not leaving the passion fruit mixture to cool enough.

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But all that was needed was a little time and patience as the mousse soon thickened up – although I didn’t realise this until I got to the second layer. So the first layer of the cake was slightly sparse, compared to the last layer. When all the layers had been completed and wrapped up in cling film I then popped the cake in the fridge and left it to set overnight, although if you don’t want to spend two days making this cake you can leave it for just four hours instead. However, I found the extra time meant no rushing about or making any mistakes so it’s well worth spreading this bake out over two days.

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Early the next morning I made the chocolate ganache with the remaining 300ml of double cream and 200g of dark chocolate and I found this to be the most stressful part as it seemed to take ages for the ganache to reach the right texture as I was worried I’d either do it too early resulting in a runny mess or I’d leave it too long so that it was difficult to spread. Luckily I caught it just in time and it was the perfect consistency. Initially I thought there wasn’t enough ganache to cover the cake, but actually this was the perfect amount and I ended up with a lovely thick layer of tasty ganache.

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And then all that was left to do was decorate the cake. I kept my cake design simple by just adding a layer of finely grated white chocolate alongside some desiccated coconut. I then placed the passion fruit jellies on top of the cake alongside some candles.

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I was really happy with how this cake turned out and I think it’s probably the best cake I’ve ever made as not only did it taste light and airy, but all the flavours worked well together and it was incredibly yummy, especially the chocolate ganache. In fact I could have eaten a bowl of chocolate ganache on its own! I was also really happy, and a little shocked to be honest, with how this cake looked as I was expecting the layers to be a bit rubbish inside but they were perfect and the colour of the passion fruit mousse looked amazing against the chocolate cake.

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Now that I have my best ever chocolate sponge cake and amazing chocolate ganache I can see lots of experimenting coming up. I’m sure chocolate orange, Black Forest and salted caramel will all feature at some point in this cake so it’s a good job there are two 50th birthdays coming up in the family soon!

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Click here for the recipe, you won’t be disappointed!

Suz x

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