At the beginning of this week I mentioned my new baking mission and how I began with a birthday cake for my OH’s mum. I know, it was a bit of a big task to set myself when I’m just getting back in to the swing of this baking thing but there’s no time like the present and I took the plunge.
She, like myself, is a bit of a chocolate fiend so I knew there really was only one type of cake I could make. A chocolate sponge on its own is a bit boring though isn’t it? And like I said it was a birthday cake, so that would be a bit rubbish. What could make it better? The addition of chocolate buttercream and a lot of Malteasers obviously!
Sadly I didn’t come up with this idea myself, I just happened to remember seeing Lorraine Pascale make a Malteaser covered cake a few weeks earlier.
It’s a nice easy method of cake making. You throw everything into one bowl and mix it together until it makes a lovely smooth mixture like this. It took my an awful long time and a lot of elbow grease to get it to this point because I used butter that had come straight out of the fridge! Also, the addition of the sour cream really helps the sponge stay nice and moist as cocoa powder can dry out the sponge and that’s what I was mostly worried about when I was making it.
There is a lot of sugar in the buttercream but don’t worry about it being too sweet because the plain, dark chocolate levels it out nicely. Combined with the chocolateyness of everything else using milk or white chocolate in the buttercream would be overkill. I don’t even like plain chocolate but you couldn’t tell that’s what is was in the icing.
My Malteaser placement was a little on the wonky side, as you can see. I went round in circles from the bottom of the cake up but I think it may look neater if you put them on in straight lines from the bottom up. Despite my wonky sweet placement, I was quite happy with the finished result and it looked impressive when I took it out of the fridge to give it to my MIL.
Cutting a slice from it was easier once it had been in the fridge and the buttercream icing had set, although I think it would taste better at room temperature. When we cut a second slice from it later in the day it had been out of the fridge for some time and the Malteasers kept getting in the way or falling off, instead of being able to cut through them like here.
Anyway, I was really pleased with my attempt at this cake and a fair few other people were too. I have orders to make another already!
Enough babbling, you want to know how to make it, yeah?
What you need
- 400g really soft butter (150g from the sponge and 250g for the buttercream)
- 250g caster sugar
- 150g self raising flour
- about 3/4 a tub sour cream
- 4 eggs
- 50g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- few drops of vanilla extract
- 100g dark chocolate
- 550g icing sugar
- little splash of milk
- Loads of sweets
How to make it
- Heat the oven to 180c/gas 4.
- Grease 2 20cm/8in sandwish tins and line the bottoms with greaseproof paper.
- Sift the flour, caster sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder into a large bowl.
- Add the butter for the sponge, sour cream, eggs and vanilla and blend until you get a soft, smooth texture.
- Divide the mix between the tins and bake for 25-30 mins.
- When ready leave to cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate.
- Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl.
- Add the remaining butter and milk to the sugar and beat.
- When the mixture is light and fluffy slowly stir in the melted chocolate.
- Put one of the cool cakes on to a plate and dollop about 1/3 of the buttercream on top.
- Spread until even then sandwich the other cake on top.
- Smother the cake with the remaining buttercream.
- Stick your chosen sweets all over the cake.
What do you think of my attempt? What other sweets do you think would work? What shall I try making next?
P.S. I’ve since made this cake again and covered it with crispy M&Ms which worked really well and looked pretty cool too.