As soon as I got this month’s copy of Olive magazine I decided I had to try to recreate the amazing “Best-ever chocolate layer cake” on the cover. It was my friend Donia’s birthday and I thought this sort of totally over the top and decadent cake would be just up her alley. I am a subscriber to Olive so I often use their recipes and having been lucky enough to spend some time as an intern there when I was studying journalism I know just how thoroughly tested their recipes are. Olive has a test kitchen which is shared with BBC Good Food magazine and every recipe that goes in the magazine is triple tested at least in the kitchen. That’s not even taking into account the recipes that the Olive girls love and so try out for themselves at home as well. After all if I was going to make a recipe that called for 600g of quality chocolate and 500ml of double cream I wanted to know these expensive ingredients would not be wasted.
Finished cake – delicious!
My only gripe with Olive is its description of the recipes, this cake is described as easy which I think is a bit misleading. I agree it does not use too much tricky technique and is straight forward enough but in my view pancakes are easy, an omelette is easy, a quadruple layer cake – surely that qualifies as “a little effort”? Anyway, descriptions aside Olive came through with the goods as this cake is a real show stopper. The only things I needed to adjust about the recipe were the amount of milk used and I also omitted the espresso powder as I preferred the cake as a pure chocolate treat rather than a chocolate/coffee treat.
Combining the cream and melted chocolate for the frosting
175g self raising flour, sifted
3 tsp cocoa powder
175g butter softened, plus extra for lining tin
175g golden caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
4 tsp milk
100g 70% dark chocolate, melted and cooled
500ml double cream
500g milk chocolate, chopped
Folding the melted chocolate into the cake mixture for step three
1. Make the frosting first as it takes a while to cool and thicken. Put the milk chocolate into a bowl. Pour the cream into a pan, and heat until simmering. Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the mixture is smooth. Cool and then chill in the fridge until it is really thick and spreadable.
2. Heat the oven to 180c and grease and base-line 2x 18cm sandwich tins with baking paper. Take 3 tsp flour from the full amount and put them back in the flour bag – the cocoa powder will make up the difference.
3. Put all the cake ingredients except the chocolate in a large bowl. Beat them together with an electic whisk until you have a creamy mixture, then fold in the melted chocolate. Add extra milk if the mixture is too stiff – it should fall easily off a spoon.
The cakes ready to go into the oven
4. Divide the mixture between the 2 tins and level. Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 mins or until the sponge springs back when cooked and a skewer comes out clean.
5. Cool for 5 mins and then turn out onto a wire rack, peel off the paper and cool completely. Cut each half in half horizontally so you have four layers altogether.
Slicing the cakes in half
6. Sandwich the layers together with the frosting (be generous as there is a lot of frosting) and then spread the rest on top thickly.
Serves 10. Although the cake is super rich so we easily served about 15 with it, with smaller slices.
Recipe adapted from Olive magazine, April 2011 issue.
If you liked reading this you might be interested in this recipe for double Belgian chocolate ice-cream (without an ice-cream maker) or this one for cheat’s chocolate mousse.