Foolproof Chocolate Cake
- 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 300ml tub thickened cream, whipped
- Strawberries, to decorate
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 125g unsalted butter, at temperature
- 2 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture
1. Grease two x 20cm round cake pans. Line bases and sides with baking paper, with paper extending 2cm above edges of pans.
2. Place butter, sugar and essence in a large bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
3. Sift flour and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add half the buttermilk and half the flour mixture to egg mixture. Beat on low speed until just combined. Add remaining buttermilk and flour mixture. Beat on low speed until just combined. Then, beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
4. Divide mixture among prepared pans. Smooth over top.
5. Cook in a moderate oven (180C) for about 35 minutes or until cooked when tested. Stand 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire to cool.
6. To make chocolate frosting, blend cocoa in boiling water in a small heatproof jug until smooth. Beat butter in small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in icing sugar mixture until fluffy. Then add cocoa paste, beat until combined.
7. Sandwich cakes together with whipped cream. Spread chocolate frosting over top and side of cake. Decorate with strawberries.
Iced cake can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep, covered, in refrigerator. Or freeze uniced cakes for up to two months. Thaw at room temperature. Sandwich cakes together with cream and ice with frosting before serving. For a change, cake mixture can be divided among 18 patty case-lined muffins holes. Cook in a moderate oven (180C) for about 20 to 25 minutes.
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