I made this cake for the first time when I was about twelve years old, and over the years it has evolved into something truly beautiful, and now wheat-free!
There's a lot of making in this cake, but trust me: it's totally worth the whole few hours/overnight wait!
☑ Soya (check for soya lecithin)
☒ Dairy (use ingredients in italics for a dairy-free version)
☒ Refined sugar products
For two 8 or 9 inch (20 or 23 centimeter) round sandwich cakes
- 5 ounces (140 grammes) spelt flour
- 3 ounces (85 grammes) cornflour
- 2 ounces (55 grammes) cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon (15 millilitres) ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 5 medium eggs, at room temperature
- 2½ ounces (70 grammes) soft brown sugar
- 5 ounces (140 grammes) caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2½ ounces (70 grammes) sunflower oil
- 2½ ounces (70 grammes) butter or block margarine
- 5 to 7 tablespoons (75 to 105 millilitres) warm coffee
For filling and crumb coat:
- 4 ounces (85 grammes) butter or block margarine, softened to room temperature
- 11 ounces (310 grammes) icing sugar, sieved
- 1 ounces (30 grammes) cocoa powder
- 1½ tablespoon milk or water, or more if needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
For chocolate fudge glaze:
- 6 ounces (170 grammes) milk chocolate or dairy-free chocolate, finely chopped or grated
- 2 ounces (55 grammes) butter or block margarine
- 2 ounces (55 grammes) caster sugar
- 2 fluid ounces (60 millilitres) milk or milk substitute
For assembly (optional):
- Hundreds and thousands, or coloured sugar
First, prepare the cakes:
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F, Gas Mk.4, or moderate).
- Prepare the cake mixture as per the basic sponge recipe, and pour into two greased and floured 9 inch (23 centimeter) cake tins. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes until ready. Allow to cool completely in tins.
- Once cold, cut each cake in half horizontally, and cut the domes off both cakes. Decide how you will assemble the layers, making sure the bottom layer of one cake, bottom side up, is on the top of the pile.
Then, fill and crumb coat the cake:
- Cut a circle of card that's the same size as the bottom of the cake.
- Make the chocolate buttercream icing following this recipe
- Smear a little buttercream on the card circle and stick the bottom layer of cake to it.
- Spread the bottom and middle two layers with two thirds of the filling. Assemble the layers and chill for about half an hour.
- Once chilled, use the remaining third of the icing to spread the top and sides with a thin layer of icing to lock in the crumbs. Chill for at least an hour.
Next, prepare the chocolate fudge glaze:
- In a medium sized saucepan, heat the milk and sugar over medium-low. Stir to melt in the sugar, and once melted in bring to the boil and boil for two minutes.
- Take off the heat and stir in the butter and chocolate. Once fully incorporated, return to the heat and cook gently for a further minute.
- Remove from the heat and cool until thick but still pourable.
Assemble the masterpiece:
- Cut a large piece of non-stick paper, and set a wire rack on top of it.
- Put the cake on the rack and pour the glaze over it, allowing the excess to drip onto the non-stick paper.
- Once the dripping has stopped, put onto a serving plate and, if you like, sprinkle hundreds and thousands over the top.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
And that's it! Like I said, fiddly but worth it! I hope to have better photos when I get my hands on my Dad's camera: he took photos of this cake that was being eaten as part of birthday celebrations I could not attend.