345gramssugarfine granulated, approximately 435 ml or 1 ¾ cups
325gramscake flourapproximately 585 ml or 2 1/3 cups cake flour, sifted
25mlbaking powderapproximately 5 level teaspoons
65gramscocoa powderapproximately 165 ml or 2/3 cup
125mlhot waterapproximately ½ cup
125mlmilkapproximately ½ cup
Chocolate Ganache glaze
2Mars chocolate bars or Two Bar one bars
100grams70% cocoa chocolate
160gramsNestle dessert cream 1 small can
1tbspMaple syrup or honey
125mlNestle caramel or dulce de leche
250mlfresh creamwhipped until stiff peaks
2bananassliced and splashed with lemon juice to prevent browning
200 gramsRaspberries or any other berries for decorationapproximately 1 cup
125mlflaked almondsapproximately ½ cup
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius or 160 fan / 350 F / Gas mark 4.
Beat together the butter and sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is light and creamy. This may take between 5-10 minutes depending on the type of cake mixer you are using.
Mix the cocoa powder and 125 ml hot water to form a thick paste. Add the milk and work out any lumps and leave to cool until required.
Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time and beat thoroughly between each addition.
Add the vanilla extract and ensure that you scrape the sides of the bowl to mix in all the butter and sugar at the bottom and sides.
Fold the flour and baking powder into the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the cocoa and milk mixture.
Spoon into a greased baking tin and bake for 40-45 minutes. It may require a shorter baking time if you are using a fan assisted oven.
You may use the same batter for cupcakes and they will take about 12 – 15 minutes.
Chocolate Ganache glaze
Melt the Bar one or Mars chocolate bars with the chocolate for about 30 seconds in a microwave. If you are using a double boiler it will take a bit longer but have the same result.
You can use milk chocolate but preferably 70% cocoa solids, for a less sugary flavour.
Mix out all the nougat lumps and ensure the mixture is smooth. Do not overheat as the sugar in the confectionery will burn and turn bitter.
Add half a tin of the Nestle cream, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or honey and a teaspoon of butter return to heat for further 20 second intervals until it looks done. Add more Nestle cream if the mixture is too thick. It should be smooth, dark and glossy and easy to spread.
NB!! The melted chocolate gets very hot so take care with the steam and sugar burns.
For a filled cake add the caramel, sliced banana and cream on the bottom layer before topping with the second cake.
If desired, you can do a crumb coating by spreading a thin layer of ganache over the entire top and sides of the cake. Let it set for about 10 minutes and then cover with the rest of the ganache.
Top with raspberries and decorate with flaked almonds
If you don't like chocolate ganache, why not try caramel cream?Ingredients:
360 grams caramelised condensed milk or dulce de leche 300 ml double cream
Beat the caramel until smooth and add the cream and whisk until light and thick. Take care not to over beat.
Spread the caramel cream over the cake and top with chocolates or flaked almonds. I use Ferrero Rocher.