Chococo's showstopping birthday cake

Chococo's showstopping birthday cake

To celebrate the return of The Great British Bake Off last night, we thought we would share with you our very own showstopping birthday cake, a family favourite here at Chococo! 

The cake is an updated version of the birthday cake that co-founder Claire's mum used to make when Claire and her sister were teenagers, however this gorgeous chocolate cake has a bit of a fruity twist on the original.

Finished off with a pile of fresh cherries, raspberries & blueberries in the middle & dusted it all with icing sugar... it's not quite the explosion of colouful icing as seen on last night's programme, but it still looks like a real showstopper!



Ingredients:

225ml milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
200g plain flour
1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
75g cocoa powder
100g soft unsalted butter
3 large beaten eggs (at room temperature)
100g light muscovado sugar
125g golden caster sugar



Filling:

125g marscapone
125g passionfruit or lemon curd



Frosting:

200g 67% dark chocolate (buy here)
250ml double cream (have some extra to hand in case it splits - see below)
30g unsalted butter


x2 20 cm cake tins, greased & dusted with cocoa powder

Pre heat the oven to 180 C, 350 F, Gas mark 4


Method:

  • Pour the milk into a jug, add the lemon juice and leave to sour whilst you prepare the rest of the cake
  •  Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder together into a bowl
  •  Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until creamy & light in colour
  •  Gradually add the beaten eggs to the sugar & butter mixture
  •  Alternately fold in the soured milk and flour to the egg mixture until all mixed together.
  •  Divide the cake mix between the two tins and tap them to ensure they are level
  •  Check the cakes after 25 minutes. They are ready when a skewer comes out clean and the sponge bounces back when you touch it.
  •  Leave in the tins for approx 10 minutes before turning out to cool
  • While the cakes are cooling, make the filling

The filling:

  • Mix the marscapone & curd together until you have a smooth mixture
  • When the cakes are cold, sandwich together with this mixture
  • If necessary, put the cake in the fridge until you are ready to decorate it with the ganache to stop this filling getting too soft

The ganache:

  • Melt the chocolate, cream & butter very slowly together in a large heavy based pan, stirring gently until the chocolate melts into the cream & you have a smooth emulsion. 
  • Take off the heat & leave to cool - it will thicken up as it cools
  • If it splits on you (the emulsion starts to separate), add more warmed cream until it recombines into a glossy emulsion
  • Once it has started to thicken, pour over the top of the cake & use a large metal spatula to spread it around the sides of the cake too. 

To serve, it’s up to you - fresh fruit, icing sugar, chocolate malt balls, chocolate curls, coloured chocolate beans, silver balls, traditional sweeties, sparklers…be creative according to the age of your audience!