Chocolate Cake for Easter

The most indulgent chocolate cake to grace my table is this one that I made in collaboration with the Central England Co-Operative.  Unlike most chocolate cakes, it’s not dry as it has evaporated milk in the recipe.  It’s slathered in a rich and creamy chocolate ganache and is decorated with rather a lot of chocolate mini eggs along with some decadent praline animals.

 

It’s certainly not a cake you’d make every week, but for special occasions and a little indulgent treat, this is the cake sure to be a hit with any chocolate lover.
All of my ingredients were sourced from my local Co-Operative, and where possible, FairTrade ingredients were used.

 

Cake:
300g Self raising flour
340g Caster sugar
40g Cocoa
150g Butter (room temp)
3 Large eggs
110g Evaporated Milk
80g Water
5ml Vanilla extract
Ganache:
200g Dark chocolate
100g Milk chocolate
250ml Double cream
Decoration:
Cadbury Mini eggs (my cake took 9 bags)
Box of Co-Operative Spring praline chocolates
1. Heat the oven to 180℃.
2. Grease and line two 20cm/8″ cake tins.
3. In a large bowl place all the cake ingredients.
4. Mix together for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.

 

5. Divide equally between the two cake tins.
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
7. Cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out into a wire rack to cool completely.
Whilst the cakes are cooling, now is the time to get your ganache ready.
8. In a saucepan, break the chocolate into squares and add the cream.
9. Heat very gently until the chocolate has melted, stirring frequently.
10. Remove from the heat and pour into a large bowl, then set aside to cool and set.
11. When the cakes are cold and the ganache has set, use ¼ of the ganache to sandwich the cakes together.
12. Place the cakes onto a serving plate and use the other ¾ of the ganache to thickly coat the sides and top of the cake. Don’t worry about it being perfectly smooth and pretty as you’re going to decorate the sides and top with lots and lots of mini eggs.
13. Starting at the bottom, place a row of mini eggs all around the cake, adding extra layers until you either run out of mini eggs, or you’ve covered the sides completely.
14. Decorate the top of the cakes with the spring praline chocolates.
You won’t want a large slice of this cake unless you’re a raving chocoholic with the sweetest tooth known to man, so this cake will certainly go a very, very long way indeed!  You could even (perish the thought!) share it with friends and neighbours, as I did!
Happy Easter, enjoy my recipe xx
I was sent a voucher from the Central England Co-Operative to buy ingredients with which to create a recipe for them.

Macarons

Makes 20 large macaroons.
Prep Time 45 minutes.
Cook Time 17-19 minutes.

Ingredients:

Italian Meringue
275g Caster sugar
100ml water
½ tbsp Green paste food colouring
95g Egg whites (approximately 3 egg whites)

Paste
275g Ground almonds
275g Icing sugar
95g Egg whites (approximately 3 egg whites)

Method
1. Pre heat the oven to 145ºC. Cut out two sheets of parchment paper, the same size as the baking tray and set aside ready for piping.
2. For the Italian meringue: In a small saucepan, add the sugar and 100ml of water and mix until there are no lumps. Add the green food colouring and place the saucepan over medium to high heat and place the sugar thermometer inside. The required temperature is 114ºC.
3. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add the 95g of egg whites with the whisk attachment. This will then be ready for the sugar syrup when the required temperature is reached.
4. Once the sugar syrup has reached 110ºC, start whisking the egg whites on a medium speed and once the temperature has reached 114ºC, (the whisking egg whites should be frothy at this stage) lift the thermometer out and slowly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl ensuring not to splash yourself! Turn onto full speed and after approximately five minutes, the Italian meringue will become glossy and whipped.
5. Meanwhile, whilst the meringue is whisking, make the paste. In a separate bowl, combine the ground almonds and icing sugar and add the other 95g of egg whites and mix with a wooden spoon until a paste has formed. The paste should be stiff.
6. Once the Italian meringue is ready (soft peaks will form) this is combined with the paste in three stages. If it is over mixed the mix will become too liquid and the macarons will become very flat once cooked. It is important to ensure a nice gentle mixing motion. The first addition of the meringue to the paste will be the most aggressive in order to ensure there are no lumps. The second amount of meringue must be folded in gently and the final addition of meringue must be extremely gentle.
7. The macaron mix is then ready to be piped. Using a spatula, fill the piping bag half way. Pipe some mix into each corner of the baking trays in order to stick the parchment paper onto the tray. Pipe in straight lines going from left to right leaving a 2cm gap in between each macaron.
8. These are now ready to be baked for 17-19 minutes at 145ºC.
9. Once cooked, take the trays out of the oven and leave to cool.

10. Sandwich together with chocolate ganache.