Endulge! Yes at least on your birthday!
I treated hubby with his usual favourite cake.. chocolate.. yes always chocolate!
Every year I make a different one as I like to experiment with new recipes. This time I have paired raspberries with hazelnuts which go heavenly with chocolate.
This is a very rich cake although I have reduced the sugar and swapped oil for butter. When you bake a cake at home and you use good quality ingredients I find that if you add too much sugar the cake will only taste of sugar hiding the beautiful flavours of your other ingredients. The more sugar you have the more you want but a little bit of it won't harm you. After all you only live once and you need a treat every so often.
I have used dark chocolate which makes it even more intense and indulgent but if you prefer milk chocolate that would do too.
I am not a fun of sugary icing on top of cakes so I often use good quality double cream and mix it with cocoa powder and a little confectionery sugar to make the filling and topping of my chocolate cakes.
I have moistened the sponge with some orange juice. I find that unless you add lots of fat (butter or oil) to the cake mixture it will always be a little on a dry side. So adding a little juice or even alcohol (or watered down brandy or rum mixed with a little sugar, if it is for adults only), will make it nice and moist and not too heavy.
Italian sponge cakes are often moistened in this way as they have less butter in them and sometimes none at all. This cake can be made gluten free by swapping wheat flour for gluten free flour. You just need to add a little more milk to the sponge mixture in order to make it smoother.
What to say.. this cake was a success perfect for celebrations!
- Prep Time : 40 minutes
- Cook Time : 30 minutes
- Yield : 10
- For the cake:
- self raising flour - 200 g - 1 + ⅔ cup
- eggs - 4
- sugar - 150 g - ¾ cup
- oil - 130ml - 4.4 fl oz
- vanilla essence - 1 tsp
- lemon zest - of 1 unwaxed or organic lemon
- dark chocolate - 180 g - just over 1 cup
- cocoa powder - 40 g - 3/8 cup
- milk - as needed
- For the filling and topping:
- fresh double cream - 650 ml - 22 fluid oz
- confectionery (icing) sugar - 100 g - 1 cup
- cocoa powder - 50 g - 1/2 cup
- fresh rasbpberries - 200 g - 1 + 2/3 cup
- orange juice - 250 ml - 8 fluid oz
- toasted hazelnuts - 100 g - 5/8 cup
- chocolate shavings - to decorate
Put the chocolate in a bowl and melt it over a pan of simmering water. Let it cool down.
In a bowl whip the eggs with the sugar until fluffy.
Add the sifted flour, the vanilla essence, the lemon zest and the cocoa powder and gently incorporate the ingredients then add the cooled down melted chocolate and stir it in.
Add a little milk in order to make a smooth mixture.
Pour the mixture in a round greased baking tin (I like silicone ones which you don't need to grease) measuring approx 22 cm or 9 inch and bake it at 180C or 350F for about 35 to 40 minutes. Check with a toothpick after 30 minutes.
When it is cooked remove it from the mold and let it cool down.
Slice the cake in half and moist both sponge disks with the orange juice.
Whip the cream unti firm. Put 2/3 of the cream in a separate bowl and add the cocoa powder with the confectionery sugar. Mix well.
Spread some of the cream with the cocoa onto the cake (leave some aside for the final decoration) and put the raspberries on top.
Spread the remaining whipped cream on top of the strawberries
Cover with the other sponge disk and spread the remaining cream with cocoa on top and around the sides of the cake. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and chocolate shavings.
Store it in the fridge.