Ingredients:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 125g cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 425g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 350g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 tablespoon good quality vanilla extract
  • 250ml freshly brewed coffee
  • 225ml milk
  • 75g dark chocolate
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of milk
  • 100g fresh berries

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350F/gas 4. Grease 2 x 9” sandwich tins and line the bases.
  • In a bowl, mix together the flour, 75g of the cocoa, the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and 1 teaspoon of fine salt and whisk it all together. Keep to one side.
  • Cut 125g of the butter into chunks and place into the bowl of a free standing mixer with a paddle attachment (alternatively, you can use an electric hand whisk and a large mixing bowl). Beat for a couple of minutes until creamy.
  • Add the sugar and beat for a few more minutes until pale. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add ½ a tablespoon of the vanilla; scraping the mixture off the sides and bottom.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl, along with the freshly brewed coffee and milk, and mix slowly until it all comes together.
  • Beat vigorously for a further minute, then divide the batter between the two cake tins. Place them in the middle of the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until cooked through. When they are ready, leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Cut the remaining butter into chunks and place into the bowl of your free standing mixer with a paddle attachment (again, you can use an electric hand whisk and a large mixing bowl instead). Beat on a high speed for 2 minutes until creamy, then sift in the remaining 50g of cocoa and half the icing sugar. Add 2 tablespoons of the milk and beat again for 1 minute.
  • Sift in the remaining icing sugar, and add the remaining milk and ½ a tablespoon of vanilla extract, then beat everything on a high speed for a couple of minutes until super smooth.
  • Use a little buttercream to stick one of the sponges onto your chosen cake stand or board. Spoon on a third of the buttercream and spread it out to the edges of the cake, then top with the second sponge.
  • Spoon on most of the remaining buttercream (reserving a few spoonfuls for piping on top) and gently spread it over the top of the cake and down the sides, until the entire cake is covered. Alternatively, you can use a little less buttercream and keep the edges open.
  • Decorate with the fresh berries and shavings of quality chocolate over the top, if you like.

Recipe by Jamie Oliver