We made a cake for a big family gathering so we wanted some that was easy to make (and transport in the car) but also looked pretty...
So I made my favourite chocolate cake and my daughter did the decorations.
200g (7oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the tins
70g (2 1/2 oz) dark chocolate
55g (2 oz) milk chocolate
1 teaspoon instant coffee
200g (7oz) caster sugar
4 large eggs
200g (7 oz) plain flour
50g (2 oz) cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
For the filling:
200g (7oz) mascapone
100g (3 1/2 oz) chocolate spread
For the icing:
300ml double cream
2 tablespoons chocolate spread
For the decoration:
150g dark chocolate
Cut baking parchment discs for the bases of 2 x20cm round sandwich tins. Butter the tins and lay the papers in. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4.
Break the chocolate for the cake into a heat proof bowl and set over a saucepan on a medium-low heat (the bowl should not touch the water). Once melted, set aside until cool, but not set. Mix the coffee with 2 tablespoons of boiling water and set aside to cool.
Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until light and creamy. Thoroughly beat in each egg, one by one. If the mixture starts to split, add 1 tablespoon of the flour to bring it back.
Sift in the rest of the flour, the cocoa powder and baking powder, then fold them in. Pour in the melted chocolate and coffee and fold in. Divide the batter between the prepared tins, smooth it out and bake for 18-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the mascapone with the chocolate spread until smooth and well blended.
Melt the 150g of plain chocolate and spread it onto a large baking sheet covered with baking parchment (we used two medium size baking sheets). Spread it over in a fairly thin layer, thin enough to look good but not too thin so that it breaks when set. Place in the fridge until ready.
Whip the double cream until thick then mix in the chocolate spread so that it is a piping consistency.
Check that the cakes are cooked by poking a cocktail stick into the centre; if it comes out clean then it’s cooked; if it’s got cake mix on it, give it another 2 minutes before testing it again. Take out and set on a wire rack. Once cool enough to touch, pop them out of the tins and return to the rack to fully cool.
Spread a layer of frosting on the bottom layer, then gently press the top layer on, spread a thin layer of the frosting around the edges of the cake (so that the chocolate has something to stick it to the cake).
Break up the set chocolate into shards and stick around the edge of the cake.
Then pipe the whipped chocolate cream onto the top of the cake.