That was until I made this cake. I am delighted with it. It IS rich, but is deliciously chocolatey and relatively easy to bake.
Over the years I have found that the way to achieve an intensely chocolate taste is to use both cocoa powder and melted chocolate when making the cake batter. You could use a chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids (i.e. 70%), but I find that it makes a very rich cake, which doesn’t tend to appeal to children. I like to use Cadbury’s Bourneville, which gives me the balance that I am looking for.
The addition of golden syrup gives added sweetness, but more importantly it helps create a moist cake.
I toyed with the idea of covering the cake with a chocolate ganache, but again I felt that this might be too rich. Instead I opted for a fudgy, chocolate buttercream, which I think works very well.
Once the cake is sandwiched together and iced, you can then decorate however the fancy takes you. To be honest, Maltesers were on special offer in the supermarket, so I bought a large box and spent a happy quarter of an hour studding my cake with them. Of course the basic cake could be decorated in a number of different ways; using different sweets… let your imagination run riot!
210g light muscovado sugar
140g golden syrup
4 eggs, separated
300g plain flour
60g cocoa powder
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
200g dark chocolate
175g dark chocolate
250g unsalted butter
275g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla paste
1 x 450g box of Maltesers
Method:1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan Oven 160C/Gas Mark 4. Grease and base-line 3 x 20cm round sandwich tins with removable bases.
2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and leave aside to cool slightly. Cream the butter, sugar and golden syrup together until light and creamy. Add the egg yolks and mix well together to incorporate.
3. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together and add to the butter and eggs mixture in three lots, mixing well after each addition. Slowly mix in the milk. Next add in the cooled melted chocolate and mix well.
4. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form and then fold in gentle to the batter.
5. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and smooth the surfaces. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about ten minutes before removing completely from the tins and allow to cool completely on wire cooling racks.
When completely cool sandwich together with the fudge icing.
6. Melt the chocolate in a bowl sitting over a simmering pan of water. Set aside to cool slightly.
7. In a separate bowl beat the butter until it is very soft and creamy. Sift the icing sugar into the butter and slowly beat into the butter mixture. Add the vanilla paste and melted chocolate and mix again until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
8. Use two thirds of the icing to sandwich the cakes together and then use a small palette knife to smoothly spread the remaining icing over the sides and top of the cake.
9. This is the fun bit. Basically all you need to do is gently press the Maltesers into the icing to completely cover the cake!