Do you love chocolate cake or know someone who does? Need a special celebration cake? Then this chocolate celebration cake has to be the perfect answer. It’s a seriously good chocolate cake even if I say so myself. It has a lot of chocolate in it though, so not a cake for everyday eating, but ideal for when you want to push the boat out and really spoil yourself or someone special. Rich, dark, creamy, encased in a decorated dark chocolate collar with a hidden hazelnut cake layer in the middle. Quite simply chocolate heaven!
A Modern Make Over
I made this cake as part of my Great Blogger Bake Off final show stopper. I wanted something that would impress and I think it does that. I based the recipe on one I wrote for my What’s cooking Chocolate cookbook some years ago. I haven’t made it very often since mainly because it is so decadent. But, once in a while I can’t resist!
To give it a modern twist I substituted the plain chocolate collar with a pretty decorated one, which I made by using a chocolate transfer sheet. If you haven’t come across one, check out specialist cake decorating shops and on line. They consist of acetate sheets with a design printed on them, made from coloured cocoa butter. They are simple enough to use and give a really professional finish. As well as for cakes, you can use them to decorate desserts or to add a professional touch to your homemade chocolates. If you can’t find them you can use plain food grade acetate sheets for a simple plain collar. Equally, you could use baking parchment as I did in the book but that won’t give you the lovely shine. You could, of course, leave it off all together. It is important when making the collar to temper your chocolate.
You can read about tempering chocolate here. If you don’t, the finish will be dull and the chocolate will not have the same snap.
Rich and dark or creamy
I have used a good quality plain chocolate with a cocoa solid content of 70% to make and decorate the cake. It’s expensive but this is a chocolate celebration cake! If you prefer your chocolate not to be quite so dark and rich you could use a plain chocolate with a lower cocoa solid content. Bournville, for example, has around 52% cocoa solids. Believe me, with this much chocolate it will still taste good! You could even use milk chocolate for the ganache and or collar but I would still use dark chocolate in the cake itself.
Chocolate Celebration Cake
for the chocolate cake
- 200 g butter
- 200 g golden caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 225 g self-raising flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 50 g dark chocolate melted
for the hazelnut cake
- 100 g butter
- 100 g golden caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 100 g self-raising flour
- 50 g chopped toasted hazelnuts
for the ganache
- 500 g plain chocolate
- 600 ml double cream
- about 175g plain chocolate tempered
- chocolate transfer sheet
Preheat the oven to 180℃ /160℃ fan/gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 20cm deep springform cake tin and a 20cm sandwich tin.
To make the chocolate cake.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, add the cocoa powder with the last egg. Sift in the flour and fold in, then fold in the melted chocolate.
Pour into the spring form tin, level top, then make a slight dip in the centre. Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour or until springy to the touch.
Make the hazelnut cake.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift in the flour and fold in, along with the chopped hazelnuts.
Pour into the sandwich tin and spread level. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until springy to the touch.
When the cakes are cooked allow to cool in the tins for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Split the chocolate cake into two layers.
To make the ganache.
Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan until almost boiling, then pour onto the chocolate, stirring. Continue to stir until all the chocolate has melted and combined with the cream.
Whisk until the ganache is cool and thick enough to pipe.
To assemble the cake.
Use about three-quarters of the ganache to sandwich the two chocolate cakes together with the hazelnut cake in between. Spread ganache over the side of the cake and transfer the cake to a baking sheet or tray.
Spoon the remaining ganache into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe rosettes to completely cover the top of the cake.
Cut the transfer sheets into strips and long enough to go around the cakes. Temper the chocolate by melting about ⅔ in a bowl slowly over a pan of gently simmering water. remove from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate. Stir until melted. (Follow the link in post for more details on how to temper chocolate.)
Spread the chocolate over the transfer sheets going right up to the edges, then carefully lift up and place around the edge of the cake. Allow the chocolate to set.
Carefully remove the transfer sheets and carefully transfer the cake to a serving plate.
Step by step to assembling the Chocolate Celebration Cake