I have to make a cake for a great-niece whose birthday will be soon. She really enjoys chocolate cake with ganache. So in preparation for that I decided to make a simple version of a chocolate sponge, with two layers and to sandwich them together with a layer of raspberry jam and chocolate ganache. Then to cover the whole thing with more ganache and finally a chocolate glaze.
For the cake recipe I used a method that depends on the weight of the eggs, in their shells. The other ingredients, butter, sugar, flour and cocoa powder are all based on the weight of the eggs. Then just a little baking powder and milk are added too.
For the filling I used seedless raspberry jam, the amount is dependent on taste and I decided upon 4 tablespoons as a good amount. Then a thick layer of silky chocolate ganache.
The remaining ganache is then used to cover the cake and it is chilled to let it set up a little. That way it is ready to have a chocolate glaze poured over to finish it off. Of course, for a birthday cake you can write on it but I didn’t do that since this was just a trial.
My sponges turned out very well indeed, having baked for 25 minutes and when the filling and coating were put on it looked good and tasted great too, though very rich. I think small slices are ideal.
For the sponge cake:
- 4 medium eggs(large in USA) weighed with shells on. (240g for mine)
- The weight of eggs in softened butter (so 240g)
- The weight of eggs in caster sugar(granulated would be fine)(so 240g)
- 3/4 the weight of eggs in plain flour, or cake flour (so 180g)
- 1/4 the weight of eggs in cocoa powder so(60g)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- dash of milk(I needed 1/2 tsp), if required.
For the filling:
- 4 tbsp raspberry jam(or as much as you prefer)
- 500g(17 1/2 oz) dark chocolate chopped into small pieces
- 400ml(1 2/3 cups) double cream
For the glaze:
- 120ml(1/2 cup) double cream
- 60ml(1/2 cup) water
- 200g(1 cup)caster sugar
- 20g(4 tbsp)cocoa powder
- 7g(1/4 oz) gelatine powder
- 60ml(1/4 cup) boiling water
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
- Grease 2 8 inch cake tins, preferably loose bottomed, and line the base with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl place the softened butter and sugar and cream together until light and fluffy.
- Beat the eggs together and gradually beat them into the butter mixture until all is mixed in completely.
- In a bowl mix the baking powder and cocoa powder into the flour and then sift onto the butter mixture.
- Gently fold the dry ingredients in until a smooth batter is formed.
- Add a little milk and mix in if the batter is too stiff.
- Divide the mixture equally into the two cake tins and spread until level and covering the entire base.
- Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cakes are springy to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes in the tins, then transfer to a cooling rack, removing the paper from the base.
- Heat the 400ml of cream in a pan until just boiling.
- Pour over the 500g of chocolate and stir to get mixed in, then leave for a couple of minutes to allow the chocolate to melt.
- Stir again until all the cream is mixed in and the mixture is silky smooth.
- Allow to cool completely, then whisk until the ganache is fluffy and has changed to a paler colour.
- Spread the jam over the cake you are using as the base.
- Spread about 1/3 of the ganache onto the jam and place the second cake on top.
- Use the remaining ganache to spread over the entire top and sides of the cakes, making it a nice even coating.
- Place the cake in the fridge to let the ganache set up ready for the glaze.
- Heat the 120ml of cream with the sugar, cocoa powder and 60ml of water, for about 20 minutes, stirring from time to time, until it has thickened.
- In a jug pour 60ml of boiling water and sprinkle over the gelatine, then whisk vigorously until fully dissolved.
- Remove the glaze mixture from the heat and pour in the gelatine, stirring all the time until fully combined.
- Allow the mixture to cool down(you can help this by placing in a bowl on some ice) until just warm, about 26C/80F.
- Remove the cake from the fridge onto a wire rack, or a plate.
- Pour the glaze over the top and use a spatula to spread over, letting it run down and coat the sides.
- Leave the cake until the glaze has set before slicing.