chocolate blackberry layer cake

Last month I made 3 pots of blackberry jam but I'm not much of a jam eater so I needed to find a way to use up some of the jam. I gave a pot to my friend Jenny and whilst rifling through the pages of Ostro, I spied a photo of a chocolate layer cake with espresso frosting and blackberries and the deal was done.  

I used my own chocolate cake recipe and blackberry jam recipe but used the espresso frosting recipe from the book. I have a new wire cake cutter and used it to cut the cake into 3 fairly even layers.

I took the cake into work and it was demolished in record time. Here's the recipe for you which makes a 3 layer 18cm cake. For all my recipes, I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20ºC.

Chocolate Blackberry Layer Cake
1 cup plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate soda
¼ tsp baking powder
½ cup strong hot coffee
40g cocoa, sifted
125g room temperature unsalted butter, chopped
¾ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg
⅓ cup buttermilk

Chocolate Espresso Icing
100g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
150g unsalted butter, softened
100 icing sugar sifted
1 tsp vanilla
30g cocoa, sifted
1 tbs strong coffee

To serve
⅓ cup blackberry jam
Fresh blackberries and chocolate curls

Preheat oven to 190°C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 18cm tin with baking paper. Sift the flour with the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Mix the coffee and cocoa together in a small bowl to make a paste, then set aside to cool. Cream the butter and sugar together with the vanilla until pale and fluffy. Add the egg then mix the flour into the mixture alternating with the chocolate mixture and the buttermilk. You should be left with a creamy smooth chocolatey batter. Pour the batter into the prepared tin, smooth the top then place the tin onto the middle shelf of the preheated oven. Bake at 190° C for 1-1¼ hours or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out dry. Leave the cake to cool completely before turning out onto a wire rack. When cool slice horizontally into 3 even layers leaving the best layer for the top layer. While the cake is cooling, make the icing.

Place chocolate in a microwave safe glass bowl. Cook in 30 second bursts until the chocolate starts to melt. Stir until smooth and all the chocolate has melted. Set to one side to cool. Cream the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa, the chocolate and the strong coffee and beat for a further 3 minutes or until the icing is light and fluffy.

To assemble
Place one cake layer on a cake plate. Spread a layer of blackberry jam over the cake layer then top with ⅓ of the icing. Carefully place the second layer on the top and repeat the process. Top with the final layer and ice with the remaining chocolate icing. Top with the chocolate curls and blackberries and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.

Here's the finished product bedecked with chocolate curls and blackberries. It does look very pretty if I say so myself.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen,


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