It’s no secret that I LOVE chocolate and use any excuse to incorporate it into my baking and/or daily life (I seriously have a block of dark chocolate on my bedside table as we speak). I was in the mood for cake, a chocolate cake to be precise. One with layers of rich and moist cake that is not too dense nor light, and smothered in a generous coat of icing.
As luck would have it, a magic package appeared at my door from Nestle. The Nestle Baker’s Choice range has just been relaunched and including their Melts, Choc Bits, Chunks and Cocoa powder! It’s important you know the different types of chocolate have different uses. The Choc Bits are best for adding in to a recipe, such as cookies, as they hold their shape. The Chunks can also be added in to recipes like cookies or brownies, but are great for melting and pouring over the top of a dessert like a slice. And the Melts are perfect for coating and decorating desserts as they set hard and glossy with the need for tempering.
For this cake I used 4 of the products – the cocoa powder, and the Melts in white, milk and dark. The cocoa powder was used both in the cake batter and in the Dark Chocolate Frosting, the milk chocolate Melts were used in the Milk Chocolate Buttercream which sandwiched the 2 layers of cake together, the dark chocolate Melts were used in the Dark Chocolate Frosting which covered the cake and the white chocolate Melts were combined with heavy cream to produce the final drizzle of white chocolate ganache. I topped off the cake with some gorgeous fresh flowers.
This is my first time doing the trendy “cake drip” which seems to be everywhere on Instagram at the moment. I must admit it’s not the neatest, but I learned a lot. Chocolate ganache can be very fickle, if it’s too warm when you pour it over the cake it will simply run off and pool at the bottom of your cake. If it’s too cool, it won’t drizzle at all and will harden on top of the cake. As we’re currently in the middle of Winter here in Australia and my apartment is freezing, by the time I poured my ganache over the cakes it was slighty too cool. But fortunately after a few strategically placed flowers, you wouldn’t even know!
I based the cake recipe off Sweetapolita’s divine Best-Ever Chocolate Cake. I reduced the sugar slightly in her original recipe, but otherwise this one is a winner. It’s easy to pull together and bakes up beautifully. Her recipe calls for 3 x 7″/18cm layers but I am an impatient person and didn’t want to bake my cake in 2 sittings. Instead I used 2 x 18cm round cake pans and 2 x 12cm round cake pans which could all fit in the oven at once, to give me 1 large 2 layered cake and 1 small 2 layered cake. Do whatever you feel like!
- 2¼ cups (285g) plain flour
- 2 cups (450g) caster sugar
- ¾ cup (90g) cocoa powder
- 2½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1¼ cups (300 ml) buttermilk
- ¾ cup (180 ml) brewed coffee or espresso
- ⅔ cup (160 ml) vegetable oil
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 125g butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup (120g) icing sugar
- 145g milk chocolate melts, melted and cooled
- 255g dark chocolate melts
- 2½ tbsp cocoa powder
- 340g butter
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 100g thickened cream
- 300g white chocolate melts
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare three 20cm round cake pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment rounds.*
- In bowl of an electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- In a measuring cup, add in eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla and beat lightly with a fork.
- Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and beat for 1 minute on medium speed.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared pans.
- Bake the cakes for 20 minutes, then rotate pans in oven. Continue to bake until toothpick or skewer comes almost clean (a few crumbs), approximately 10 more minutes.
- Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes and then gently invert onto racks until completely cool.
- Melt the milk chocolate melts in a bowl on medium high in 30 seconds bursts until melted. Set aside.
- Beat the butter in electric mixer until pale and creamy, add icing sugar in slowly until well combined.
- Once the melted chocolate has slightly cooled, add to the icing mixture and beat until smooth.
- Melt the dark chocolate melts in a bowl on medium high in 30 seconds bursts until melted. Stir in cocoa powder and set aside.
- In your electric mixer, combine butter, milk and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Add in melted chocolate once it has cooled slowly and continue beating until well combined.
- Add in icing sugar slowly until thick and creamy. You may need to add a little more milk if the frosting is still too thick.
- Heat thickened cream in the microwave until hot.
- Add in white chocolate melt and allow to sit for 2 minutes.
- Stir the ganache until completely combined. Allow to sit until it comes to room temperature.
- If your cakes have domed, trim them flat with a serrated knife.
- Place your bottom layer on the cake stand and dollop on top your milk chocolate buttercream icing. Spread out evenly with an offset spatula.
- Place the second cake on top, upside down, and gently sandwich the 2 layers together.
- Spread a thin layer of your dark chocolate frosting over the top and sides of the cake. This is referred to as a "crumb coat" which prevents the crumbs from messing up your final ice. Put cake in fridge to chill for around 30 minutes.
- With your remaining icing, use your offset spatula to cover the top and sides as evenly as possibly (don't worry, mine wasn't particularly neat!)
- Once the white chocolate ganache is at room temperature, pour it on top of the cake and smooth to the edges. Gently coax a few drips down the sides of the cake using a teaspoon.
- Top with flowers.
This cake is truly divine and I can’t wait to make it again. The layers of cake are moist, chocolatey and not too sweet, the thick layer of milk chocolate buttercream is rich, the dark chocolate frosting is fluffy and light as a feather and the white chocolate ganache is the perfect finishing accompaniment. This cake is sheer heaven!
Are you a chocaholic like me? What’s your favourite way to incorporate as much chocolate as possible into your baking?