Don’t worry, today’s post is not one in the gourmet camping series! Although it is probably possible, cooking a light and airy cake over a barbecue is well beyond my ken!
I made this cake for a leaving party for a friend from work. Knowing that I would be away at Easter, I have kept this post for now to share. It was a fitting farewell cake, but you can easily dress this with buttercream and mini eggs to make a lovely cake for Easter, or any springtide celebration.
This cake also made the most of some extra buttermilk I had in the fridge, after making pancakes. I don’t use buttermilk much, so it would have gone to waste, but actually, this makes for a lovely moist cake, but that isn’t too sweet. Despite the amount of desserts and custards I have posted on ediblethings, I don’t have a sweet tooth. I prefer fruity desserts over chocolate ones, but there are times when only a chocolate cake will do. And if you are like me, then this is the chocolate cake for you.
I am also not the biggest fan of buttercream, so I used whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles to decorate the cake. In the Netherlands, they have chocolate sprinkles for breakfast, or lunch on bread, but they are just as good on a cake.
If you wanted to indulge a bit more, you could make a chocolate ganache, adorn the cake with jelly orange and lemon slices (the kind that always appear at Christmas), or even make your own chocolate truffles, and chocolate shavings to go over the ganache.
If you prefer fruit, make the ganache, or a chocolate buttercream and then cover the cake in raspberries or cherries. It’s your celebration, after all!
However you choose to decorate it, this is the perfect celebration cake. And what better way to celebrate anything at springtime than with chocolate? So, I am sending a very Happy Easter, and all other spring and rebirth festivals to you all!
Recipe: Chocolate Celebration Cake
This recipe is enough for two cakes to use as a sandwich. Of course, you can halve the recipe if you only want one tier, but that isn’t too celebratory, is it now?
For the cakes:
250 g butter
400 g plain flour
100 g cocoa
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
400 g raw sugar or 420 g caster sugar
450 ml buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
To make the sandwich:
2 tbsp of fruit preserve – I used pink grapefruit curd, but a jam would work as well
250 ml double cream, whipped until stiff
Chocolate sprinkles to cover
Grease two 20 cm cake tins. For some reason, my two allegedly 20 cm cake tins are 19 and 21 cm respectively, which goes to show you that you should buy your cake tins as pairs from the same place, but never mind. Line the bottom with greaseproof paper. If you only have shallow tins, line the sides, and allow the paper to extend a fair bit over the tin. These cakes rise quite a lot.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Gently melt the butter and set aside to cool.
The only time you will hear me extolling the virtues of sifting anything is when cocoa is involved. Obviously, this is one of those times. While you are at it, bung the flour and bicarb through the seive too. Make sure they ennd up in your largest mixing bowl.
Add the sugar to the mixing bowl and stir thoroughly. Make a small well in the floury stuff in the bowl.
Combine the melted butter, buttermilk, beaten egg, and the vanilla in a measuring jug. Pour this into the well you just made, and whisk in with an electric hand whisk, until the batter is creamy and smooth.
Divide the batter between the two cake tins and put them in the oven for 45 mins, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. You may need to swap the two cakes on their respective shelves with about 10 minutes cooking time left, to ensure even cooking.
Remove from the oven and leave aside in the tins until it won’t completely burn you when you handle it. Remove the cakes from the tins and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Once cold, place one cake flat side up on a serving plate, and spread over the preserve evenly. Cover this with a third of the cream, the sandwich the two cakes together, flat side to flat side.
Cover the top of the cake with the remaining cream, and then sprinkle over the sprinkles.
Best served to celebrate – even the fact that it is Saturday.