Apart from making my mouth water, Lorraine Pascale’s TV show always inspires me to be a better cook and to try new recipes. This week she made her, ‘Let Them Eat Cake, Cake’. This cake looks like it would be so much fun to make and you know it’s going to taste delicious. I’ll try it this weekend with the kids and report back!
- 150g • 5oz really soft butter,
- plus a little extra for greasing
- 250g • 9oz caster sugar
- 150g • 5oz self-raising flour
- 125ml • 4½ fl oz sour cream
- 4 medium eggs (at room temperature)
- 50g • 2oz cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- ½ vanilla pod (or few drops of vanilla extract to taste)
- 100g • 3½ oz dark chocolate (minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids)
- 550g • 1¼ lb icing sugar
- 250g • 9oz really soft butter
- 2 tbsp milk (or water)
- 4 x 135g packets of brown or white Maltesers
Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C), 350F, gas mark 4, with the middle shelf at the ready. Grease 2 x 20cm • 8 in loose-bottomed sandwich cake tins with a little butter, line the bottoms with discs of baking parchment and sit them on a large baking sheet.
Put the butter, sugar, flour, sour cream, eggs, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a large bowl or in a freestanding electric mixer or a food processor. Split the vanilla pod open, scrape out the seeds and add them also (or the vanilla extract). Then mix or blend to give a smooth, soft mixture.
Divide evenly between the cake tins, smooth the tops and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
To check the cakes are baked, insert a skewer into the middle of each cake and if it comes out clean, then they are ready to come out. Remove them from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes before carefully removing and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack (about 25 minutes).
When the cakes are almost cool, start making the buttercream. Break the chocolate into a medium bowl and melt it in the microwave in 30-second blasts, stirring inbetween. Otherwise, sit the bowl of chocolate on a medium pan of simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl, as this may make the chocolate grainy.
Sift the icing sugar into the electric mixer or processor bowl (or large bowl if doing by hand). If I use a food mixer or processor for this, I don’t worry about sifting it as the blade will do a good job of blending any lumps. Add the butter and milk (or water) and beat until it is really light and fluffy. You will need to do this like mad if blending by hand. Then pour in the melted chocolate, stirring all the time.
Sit one of the cakes on a serving plate or cake stand. I often put a little dollop of buttercream underneath the sponge so that the cake doesn’t move around. Then put about a third of the buttercream on and spread it around. Then sit the other sponge on top and spread the remaining buttercream all over so it is completely covered. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Doing this is a great excuse to get nice and messy.
Once you have covered the cake, and of course yourself, suitably in chocolate, take the Maltesers and stick them all over the cake. I am pedantic about this as I want the balls to be in strict rows, so I start at the base of the cake and then go in a line, up the sides, over the top and down the other side. I am not ashamed to say that rulers have been used in the decorating of this cake for a super-sharp line! Line them up nice and tight with no gaps.
Once covered, carry to the table and serve.