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Chocolate Sponge Layer Cake

A decadent cake made with lashings of delicious marscapone.

Chocolate Sponge Layer Cake

A decadent cake, perfect for afternoon tea.

Serves 8

Mocha Ganache

600g dark chocolate, chopped

60ml espresso

300ml pouring cream

Vanilla Mascarpone

750ml Tatua mascarpone

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

¾ cup icing sugar, sifted

¾ cup pouring cream

Sponge

12 eggs, at room temperature

160g brown sugar

160g caster sugar

300g plain flour, triple sifted

¼ tsp baking powder, sifted

30g Dutch cocoa

120g butter, melted

1 punnet strawberries, halved

To make ganache, place chocolate and prepared coffee in a large, heatproof bowl. In a saucepan, heat cream over high heat until just boiling. Pour in chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool at room temperature for 2 hours.

For vanilla mascarpone, whisk mascarpone, vanilla seeds, icing sugar and cream until mixture holds soft peaks. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Line the base of two 20cm sponge-cake tins with baking paper, then butter and flour them. To make sponge, preheat oven to 180°C. Beat eggs and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer for 10-12 minutes or until tripled in volume. Add flour and baking powder in 2 batches, and gently fold to combine.

Whisk together cocoa and melted butter. Add to egg mixture and fold gently to combine. Divide between tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly before turning out on a wire rack to cool.

To serve, cut each sponge in half, spread with one-third of mascarpone mixture and one-quarter of ganache. Repeat with remaining cake layers and filling.

Melt remaining ganache, pour over top of sponge, and top with fresh strawberry halves.

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