Berry Creamy Chocolate Cake

Built for FLAVOUR not LOOKS

I made a cake for the LLF the other day, it was quite nice. She had asked for something chocolatey with lots of cream and berries. I duly rooted around for ideas and came up with this, bodged together from three or four other recipes. It seems to fit the brief.

The way I have written it out makes it seem more complicated than it really is, but seriously, it’s pretty simple to do.

Chocolate sponge cake:

  • 8oz (a regular block) unsalted butter (leave out to soften to room temperature)
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 oz soft brown sugar
  • 8 oz self-raising flour
  • 4 oz cocoa powder
  • 1.25 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Large bar of white chocolate, battered into small pieces
  • Milk (as needed)
  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 3 (170ºC/325ºF).
  2. Prepare 2 x 8″ cake or flan tins – line with greaseproof paper or baking parchment if not Teflon-coated or similar.
  3. Cream sugar and butter together with wooden spoon until pale and light (about 5-10 minutes).
  4. Add vanilla extract.
  5. Stir in eggs one by one, mixing into mixture well.
  6. Once nicely gloopy, switch to hand whisk and get beating. Transfer to food processor or electric whisk if you’re lazy/pressed for time.
  7. Beat together until there’s plenty of air in the mixture. Don’t cheat yourself – you will know if it’s not beaten enough.
  8. Fold in half the flour carefully with a spatula or large spoon, being careful not to remove all the air you’ve beaten in.
  9. Gently stir in white chocolate pieces.
  10. Once mixture is uniform, fold in remaining flour and cocoa powder.
  11. Loosen mixture with a little milk if necessary – you want a fairly moist batter. Stir through carefully.
  12. Split mixture between cake tins.
  13. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  14. Now prepare your chocolate ganache and berry cream as outlined below.
  15. After 35-40 minutes in the oven, check the cake is properly baked with a cocktail stick or skewer – if it comes out clean it’s ready; if not, give it another 5 mins.
  16. Prick tops of both sponges with cocktail stick/skewer, then pour set aside fruit liquor over top.
  17. Let cakes cool in tins for 10-15 mins, then remove onto rack.
  18. Once fully cooled, assemble cake.
  19. Place one sponge onto board or plate you will be serving the cake on.
  20. Spread ⅓ chocolate ganache around edges of this bottom sponge.
  21. Spoon ⅔ of berry cream over the top of the first sponge, using palette knife or similar to ensure this layer is even and to the edges.
  22. Place second sponge on top, pressing down evenly. Scrape off any excess berry cream oozing out the sides.
  23. Spread rest of chocolate ganache over top of sponge, working outwards from the middle, and eventually down to the edge of the top layer.
  24. Once ganache ‘set’, spread last of berry cream over the top of the cake.
  25. Decorate with any leftover cream and the berries you set aside to defrost.
  26. SERVE!

Chocolate ganache:

  • Big bar of dark chocolate (70-85% does the job) battered into bits
  • 1 big tub double cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp booze of your choice (optional)
  1. Place chocolate chips into bowl.
  2. Heat cream in saucepan over low to medium heat until hot but not boiling.
  3. Pour over chocolate.
  4. Add vanilla and optional booze.
  5. Stir in well with wooden spoon until chocolate all melted.
  6. Switch to hand whisk and go mad.
  7. Once evenly mixed, set bowl aside in fridge to cool.
  8. Whisk up a little every 15 minutes until sponge cakes ready to ensure ganache doesn’t harden.
  9. Assemble cake as from stage 20 above.

Berry cream:

  • Big tray of frozen raspberries, mixed berries, or whatever tickles your fancy
  • 2oz caster sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 big tub double cream
  1. Set aside some berries to defrost for decoration when you serve the cake.
  2. Heat together the berries, lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan – be gentle, you’re not making poteen.
  3. Keep stirring until the sugar dissolves and the berries start bursting a little and the whole mixture gets a rich, juicy colour.
  4. Spoon out the berries and most of the juice into a dish, and either refrigerate or cool over a bowl of ice.
  5. Keep the rest of the fruit liquor warm until sponge cakes removed from oven.
  6. When cake is ready to assemble, whip cream in clean bowl until you start to get peaks.
  7. Fold in cooled down berries – try not to destroy them.
  8. Assemble cake as from stage 21 above.
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