Hot chocolate birthday cake
This warmly spiced cake is reminiscent of a cup of Mexican hot chocolate.
SERVES 12 PREP 45min COOK 30min
• Oil or butter, for greasing
• 75g cocoa powder
• 375g caster sugar
• 375ml boiling water
• 200g unsalted butter
• 3 large eggs
• 335g plain flour
• 11/2tsp baking powder
• 11/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 2tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2tsp ground nutmeg
• 1/4tsp ground cayenne (optional) FOR THE FILLING
• 225g unsalted butter, softened
• 450g icing sugar, sifted
• 75g cocoa powder, sifted
• 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
• 4-5tbsp whole milk
FOR THE DECORATION
• 300ml double cream
• Handful of vegetarian mini marshmallows, to decorate
• 10g 70% dark chocolate, grated
• Ground cinnamon, for dusting
1 Heat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Grease and base-line 3x20cm round cake tins with baking paper. Put cocoa powder, 150g caster sugar and the boiling water in a jug and whisk together until sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly.
2 Cream butter and remaining caster sugar together until pale and fluffy, then add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.
3 Sift flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne, if using, together in another bowl. Add ⅓ of flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar, and beat well to combine. Repeat twice more, using ⅓ of flour mixture each time and beating well between each addition.
4 Fold in cocoa and sugar mixture until fully combined. Divide cake batter equally between the 3 lined tins and bake for 25-30min, until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
5 Remove cakes from the oven, leave to cool in the tins for 5min, then turn out onto wire racks. Peel off paper and leave to cool completely.
6 To make the filling, whisk all the ingredients together, until light and aerated (it should look like bubbles in hot chocolate). Divide mixture into 3 equal portions, using 2 portions to sandwich the cakes together and the third to cover the top and sides.
7 To decorate the cake, whip cream to firm peaks, then spoon it into a large piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe swirls of cream over the top of the cake, then sprinkle with mini marshmallows and the grated chocolate, and dust with cinnamon.
Cook’s tip Check bicarbonate of soda is active by adding a little to a glass of water – it should fizz.