Hot cho­co­late birth­day cake

This warmly spiced cake is rem­i­nis­cent of a cup of Mex­i­can hot cho­co­late.

Prima (UK) - - Get Set, Bake! -

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.

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