chocolate easter egg layer cake

I had no plans to make a 4 layer Chocolate Easter Egg Cake until I went to the supermarket last week and saw the front cover of the Coles magazine.

Inspired by the photo I bought some Easter eggs for decoration, adapted a favourite chocolate cake recipe and made a very large batch of cream cheese icing.

I haven't been sleeping well for a while and when I'm tired I make lots of silly errors. For a 4 layer cake you really need to focus on the task at hand and I couldn't. 

Trying to do the calculations for the icing saw me reach for the calculator and my kitchen scales. In the end I marked the side of each bowl with a wax pen just to ensure I didn't do something really silly.

Normally when I ice a layer cake I chill the cake first then ice the layer before returning the cake to the fridge to allow the cream cheese icing to firm. Once the cream cheese icing has firmed, I add the second layer repeating the process until the final layer has been placed. Except I didn't do that on this occasion. With each layer the cake started to slide, so by the time I'd put all the layers together the cake had a spectacular lean, not unlike the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I wasn't sure the cake would hold together long enough for me to photograph it. I quickly decorated the top of the cake with some Easter eggs then photographed it before putting the cake back into the fridge to firm a little more. Once the cake had been in the fridge overnight, I managed to get it into work in one piece with no further mishaps.

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Chocolate Easter Egg Layer Cake - makes a 17 cm -20 cm layer cake.

Cake Ingredients
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1 cup boiling water

2 cups plain flour
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch salt
250g unsalted butter, softened
1¼ cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
⅔ cup sour lite cream

Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing
60g butter, softened
125g cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups icing sugar mixture

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

60g butter, softened
125g cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
30 g cocoa, sifted
60 g dark chocolate, melted, cooled
2 cups icing sugar mixture
1 tbs sour lite cream

Easter eggs to decorate

Grease and line two 17 cm tins with baking paper. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.

In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder with the boiling water with and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Sift flour, bicarb soda and salt into a bowl. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs to the creamed butter mixture. Add the flour alternately with the chocolate mixture and sour cream and beat just to combine. Pour half the batter into each tin and bake the cakes until tester inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Place on a wire rack until cool.

To make the vanilla cream cheese icing, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, cream cheese and vanilla in a bowl until very pale and creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar, beating well after each addition.

To make the dark chocolate cream cheese icing, cream the butter with the cream cheese and vanilla; beat until fully incorporated. 
Gradually add the icing sugar, beating on low speed until well combined. Add cocoa and melted chocolate and mix until well blended. If needed, add some sour cream to make a spreading consistency.

To assemble
When the cakes are cool, remove the baking paper. Use a large serrated knife to level the top of each cake and then halve each cake horizontally. Place one cake layer onto a serving plate. Spread with half the dark chocolate cream cheese icing. Top with another cake layer.

Reserve half the vanilla cream cheese icing. Combine one-third of the remaining cream cheese icing with two-thirds of the dark chocolate cream cheese icing. Spread evenly over the cake. Top with another cake layer.

Combine the remaining dark chocolate cream cheese icing with the remaining cream cheese icing and spread evenly over the cake. Top with the remaining cake layer and reserved cream cheese icing. Decorate with chocolate eggs.

If you'd like to make a less ambitious Easter Egg Cake, you could make a 2 layer 23 cm/9 inch cake cake with this recipe. Instead of fiddling with 4 different fillings I'd only make one, either one batch of the vanilla or one batch of the chocolate cream cheese icing. I think one batch would be enough to both fill and top the cake. I had a sliver of cake after lunch and this cake is no shrinking violet. It's very rich but also very delicious. The cake is very moist and fudge like with lashings of chocolate flavoured cream cheese icing. 

Meanwhile I'm in the process of planning the recipes for my annual Passover week. I have most of the recipes sorted out but if there is anything in particular you'd like me to try just drop me a line -

See you all again soon,


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