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Chocolate Sponge Cake

Everything is a phase apparently, in baking trends, fashion and of course parenting- I’m really hoping that’s the case as my 2 and a half year old seems to be in a year-long phase of not sleeping through, spilling drinks for fun and attempting to run into traffic.

On those days when it seems like the kids’ ‘pain in the bum’ phase is never ending, it’s worth remembering that chocolate cake is a constant. It never goes out of fashion and it’s a great way to take the edge off a two year old’s tantrum.

Although I’m a huge fan of chocolate cake, there are surprisingly few of them on the blog. This is a classic moist chocolate sponge which is great on its own or with whatever buttercream or toppings you like.

You will need two 8″ deep sandwich tins, well greased or lined with baking paper.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 250g Self Raising Flour
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 100g creme fraiche
  • 200g butter
  • 5 eggs

For the buttercream

  • 200g butter (at room temp)
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 15ml boiling water
  • 150g white chocolate, broken into pieces (you can use milk or dark chocolate for a different chocolate flavour)

Preheat the oven to 170°C Gas Mark 3.

Kid Job- In a large bowl mix the butter and the sugars together until smooth and creamy.

Grown up and kid job- one by one, crack in the eggs and mix in. Kids generally love a chance to crack an egg or two and if you don’t mind fishing out the lumps of shell, this is a great way to boost their confidence in the kitchen. Add creme fraiche until you have a clumpy batter.

Grown up job- In a separate bowl, mix the cocoa powder with the boiling water to form a thick paste. Add the cocoa paste to the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well.

Kid job- Stir in the flour until just combined (don’t worry if it looks lumpy) and pour as evenly as possible into the cake tins.

Grown up job- Pop into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Allow to cool slightly in the tins before removing.

Whilst cooling prepare the buttercream.

Using a hand whisk or a fork and lots of stamina, beat the butter, icing sugar and water together until pale and fluffy.

Using short bursts of 15 seconds, melt the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, stirring well in between each heating.

Pour the melted chocolate into the buttercream while continuing to mix until it’s fully incorporated.

Once the cakes are cool sandwich with the buttercream and pipe or spread a generous layer over the top. I quite enjoyed piping ours until the kids decided it needed sprinkles…

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Rich & Posh Triple Chocolate Cake

When we fancy whipping up a chocolate cake or cupcake we’ll usually use our standard chocolate cake recipe.

But as is so often the case, I needed something stronger after a long week of no sleep and toddlers who refuse to let you put their shoes on when you really need to leave the house (then scream the car down when you dare to take them out without shoes*)

If a more grown-up chocolate cake is needed, this one is perfect! Almost Torte-like in texture, it’s perfect for an occasion or a pudding for a big family lunch.

You will need a 9″ cake tin lined with baking paper.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 200g chopped dark chocolate
  • 200g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 70g plain flour
  • 50g ground almonds

For the white chocolate ganache

  • 150g white chocolate
  • 150ml double cream

To decorate

  • 150g sliced strawberries (optional)
  • 50g milk chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180°C gas Mark 4.

The first part is a grown up job but as it involves plenty of chocolate you shouldn’t worry about kiddies loosing interest;

Set a small pan of simmering water on the hob and pop a bowl on top -add the dark chocolate and butter and stir until melted – remove from the heat while you carry on with the next bit.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and frothy (approx 5 minutes). My 3 year old loves a whisk and is confident with an electric hand whisk but if your baking with very little ones this may be a grown up job.

We never normally use a stand mixer but had my mother’s on loan this weekend and what a revelation! Almost felt like cheating; if you have one let the mixer whisk the eggs while you melt the chocolate.

Stir the egg mixture into the melted chocolate with a metal spoon until just combined then gently add the flour and almonds.

Pour into the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes or until springy when touched in the centre.

While the cake is baking you can crack on with the ganache.

Break up the white chocolate (don’t worry if your little chef eats a lot of chocolate during this process. I’ve found it unavoidable) and pop into a microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave using short bursts of 10 seconds and stirring in between.

Once melted stir in the double cream until well combined and pop in the fridge to chill.

When the cake is cool gently remove from the tin and peel off the baking paper.

Top with the white chocolate ganache and sliced stawberrys.

Melt the milk chocolate by popping into a microwave safe bowl and using short bursts of 10 seconds as you did with the white chocolate.

Drizzle over the top of the cake and you’re good to go!

*we didn’t need to leave the car so I’m confident shoes weren’t actually necessary.