Beatty's Chocolate Cake

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time35 mins
  • Serves8
  • DifficultyMedium

For the Chocolate cake

Butter, for greasing the pans
210g plain flour, plus more for pans
400g caster sugar
90g good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
240ml buttermilk, shaken
120ml vegetable oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
240ml freshly brewed hot coffee (this will enhance the chocolate flavour)

For the chocolate buttercream

175g plain chocolate (less than 70% cocoa solids)
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
155g sifted icing sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

For the Chocolate cake:

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Butter 2 (20cm) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

2) Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.

3) In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

4) Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

For the Chocolate buttercream:

1) Cut the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

2) In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the icing sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy.

3) Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip. Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

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