What a month it’s been. A wonderful month. A wonderful end to a fantastic year, I have to say. I firstly want to apologise now for the lack of updates this month. I have a couple of recipes left to post this month, so keep an eye out! I have a fantastic way to use up any leftover prosecco (is there such a thing?) and some minty little nibbles that your New year guests will just devour!
I did want to post a lot more this month, but life and Christmas got in the way. I was away living the Italian dream in the first week – exploring the sights of Verona and Venice – and the food, the food was just to die for – and then a week ago I got engaged, and have been basking in the wonderment the followed ever since. And then, it was Christmas. Upon us, all of a sudden.
We spent Christmas hosting it for family and the feast was just wonderful. I hope your day yesterday was just as good. I want to thank you all for visiting, commenting, liking and sharing over the last 9 months. It’s been great and I promise 2017 will bring more cakes and an added variety of baking goods.
Anyway – on to this cake. OMG. It’s a chocoholics heaven and at the same time, it’s so good it should be a sin! Chocolate upon chocolate upon chocolate upon chocolate! The brownie works SO WELL sandwiched in-between the sponge. Spend your day tomorrow doing this. You won’t regret it, I promise.
Yields: 15 slices.
280g plain flour
300g soft light brown sugar
170g butter, softened and unsalted
3 tsp baking powder
30g cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
170g self-raising flour
220g soft light brown sugar
50g cocoa powder
2 tsp dark spiced rum
handful of cranberries
500g icing sugar
200g milk chocolate
2 tsp milk
Gold Lustre spray (optional)
Preheat the oven to 170c and line 2 x 6″ cake tins with butter and flour and 1 7″ cake tin with butter and then some baking parchment on the bottom and sides.
For the cake, beat the butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating in between each addition.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add a third into the rest of the mixture and beat for 30 seconds. Pour in half the buttermilk combine. Repeat the process, ending with the final third of the flour.
Divide into the 2 6″ cake tins and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
For the brownie, melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl over a simmering pan. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar and cocoa powder. Pour in the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Add the eggs and mix together until fully incorporated. Add the cranberries and rum and fold in.
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 30 minutes. While the layer are baking, you need to make the buttercream. Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds and then in 10 second blasts until fully melted. Leave to cool. Beat the butter for 5 minutes until fluffy. Add half the icing sugar and beat again for 2 minutes, on high. Add the second half of icing sugar and repeat until the icing sugar is fully combined and you’re left with a smooth buttercream. At this point, add the chocolate and milk and beat until everything is combined. Set aside.
Once both cakes and the brownie are baked, cooled and levelled out it’s time to assemble. You’ll need to trim the edges of the brownie so it’s the same diameter as both cakes, but these offcuts will create the decoration on the top, so square the edges of these offcuts and set aside. Take one of the two chocolate sponges and spread a thick layer of the buttercream on it. Place the brownie on this layer and spread some more buttercream. Repeat this with the final later, but flip it over so the bottom becomes the top of the cake. Rover the whole cake with a thin layer of the buttercream, as a crumb coat. Place in the fridge for an hour.
When the crumb coat is set, spread on a thick layer of buttercream on the sides and top. Use a cake scraper to remove the excess until you’re left with smooth sides and a nice clean top. Decant the remaining buttercream to a piping bag. I used an interchangeable nozzle set as I wanted various different piping designs.
To finish, I placed some of the offcuts of the brownie on top of the cake, spraying some of them gold with some lustre spray for that extra pop and then piped some decoration in-between.
There you go! Chocolate heaven, diet hell!