I’m currently recovering from a very tiring but rewarding weekend. I embarked upon my biggest catering job to date, which I mentioned in passing a couple of weeks ago here. It was my friend Hannah’s parents Ruby Wedding Anniversary party and I somehow single-handedly churned out canapes and a hot fork buffet for 40 hungry revellers. I’d completely under estimated the amount of preparation time that’d be required and worked solidly all day Friday and Saturday with Han’s dad keeping me sane with a continuous supply of tunes from his ipod – bless him!
Even though I was using an old, faithful recipe for a chocolate fudge cake that I’ve made loads of times before and had already experimented scaling it up here it was soooo much scarier tackling the real deal…12 inches, 2 layers and 10 bitten nails worth of chocolate fudge cake (rest assured no nail clippings went anywhere near the cake!)…
sandwiched and coated in litres of chocolate fudge ganache gooeyness…
and decorated with dark chocolate dipped strawberries, raspberries and my handwritten scrawl…
I was pretty happy with the finished article and luckily so were the happy couple.
I usually make the standard 8 inch cake but to scale it up for a 12 inch cake you just need to use double quantities for each 12 inch layer (eg. 350g butter, 350g sugar, 6 eggs etc).
Here’s the recipe for the 8 incher, because after all who’s really going to be making a 12 inch monstrosity eh??…
175g unsalted butter
175g golden caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
3tbsp golden syrup
40g ground almonds
175g self raising flour
pinch of salt
40g cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line 2 x 8inch cake tins.
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs. Stir in the syrup and ground almonds, these 2 ingredients add amazing moistness to the cake. Sift the flour, salt and cocoa powder into the bowl and fold in gently. Add a little water, if necessary, to make the cake batter a dropping consistency. Divide between the tins and bake for 30-35 minutes or until they spring back when touched and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. I tend to err towards a shorter cooking time as I like it to be really fudgy although be careful as there’s a bit of a fine line between fudgy and undercooked 🙂
Leave the cakes in their tins for 5 minutes or so and then turn out to cool on a wire rack. While the cakes are cooking and cooling you can make a start on the ganache icing…
225g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
55g dark muscovado sugar
225g unsalted butter, diced
5tbsp evaporated milk
1/2tsp vanilla essence
Put all of the ganache ingredients into a heavy based saucepan and heat gently, stirring constantly until melted. It’s really important that you don’t leave this unattended or over heat as it will become grainy. I’ve learnt that the hard way and although it still tastes good, the texture and appearance is compromised somewhat. Pour the melted mixture into a bowl and chill in the fridge for about an hour until spreadable.
Use the ganache to sandwich and cover the cake. And there, my friends, you have it…a moist, dense chocolate fudge cake with gorgeous, gooey, heart attack inducing icing…enjoy!