It was my boyfriends birthday this week. His present, cake.
Not just any cake but a rich triple layer chocolate cake with aqua Swiss meringue butter cream filling, dark chocolate ganache frosting and chocolate shards for decoration.
Three days after his birthday and the final 2 pieces of cake are sitting on the cake stand in the kitchen taunting me, it beat us.
The cake + decorations stood at about 30cm tall, visually this cake it quite impressive, yet relatively easy too pull off! I got the idea out of a Donna Hay magazine.
I used some left over Swiss meringue butter cream that I had in the freezer, you could double the ganache recipe and use that for the filling instead.
The recipe is below as well as step by step instructions on how to make the chocolate shards.
This cake will take 2 days to make.
Day 1: Make chocolate shards, ganache and cake.
Day 2: construct.
This is better done in two batches.
Melt 250 grams of dark cooking chocolate. Pour half of the melted chocolate onto a long (30cm) strip of baking paper. Place another sheet of baking paper on top of the chocolate. Using a long palate knife, gently press the chocolate outwards but not to the edge of the paper, you want the chocolate to be thin and relatively even.
Roll the paper into a tube and allow to set overnight.
Repeat with the other half of the chocolate.
1 3/4 cups gluten free flour
2 cups of white sugar
3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 cup (minus 1 TBSP) soymilk
1/2 rice bran oil
2 free range eggs, at room temperature
3 teaspoons good quality vanilla essence
1 cup freshly brewed plunger coffee
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Prepare you cake pans. I used 3 8in rounds, you can use rectangle pans or heart shaped, whatever.
In a 1 cup measure place 1 tablespoon of vinegar, pour soy milk over the vinegar until the cup is full, leave for a few minutes, while you prepare the other ingredients. You just made soy buttermilk!
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and mix until combined.
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
I mixed this by hand, because this is SUCH a wet mixture it splashes all over the place if done it a kitchen mixer. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stirring consistently, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, melt chocolate with cream over low heat; stir until blended. Remove from the heat. Stir in vanilla. Transfer to a bowl; cover and refrigerate until mixture reaches spreading consistency, stirring occasionally.
Place cake 1 on your cake stand or decorating wheel. Place 1/3 cup of the filling (ganache or SMB) in the center of the cake, using a small palate knife slowly work the frosting towards the outside of the cake. Place cake 2 on top of the frosting and repeat the filling step.
If the cake looks unsteady, place 4 skewers into the cake to stabilize it. Trim the skewers.
Allow the cake to set for a few hours. It’s been SO cold here so I didn’t need to put my cake in the refrigerator. In warmer climates refrigerate for 20 minutes, then leave in a cool place for an hour.
Unroll the chocolate tubes, breaking the chocolate tube as you go. You should have chocolate shards of varying lengths.
Stir ganache (you may need to microwave for 20 seconds) until it reaches a spreading consistency. Place half the ganache on top of the cake. Using a small palate knife slowly work the ganache towards the outside of the cake.
Its ok if some of the ganache goes over the side, work this over the sides of the cake to do a thin coat of ganache.
Use the remaining ganache as glue, gluing the chocolate shards onto the outside of the cake. This is a messy step!
I can’t properly credit this recipe, it seems to be the preferred chocolate cake recipe by alot of bakers.