Chocolate Layer Cake

My poor brother. He was meant to receive this Chocolate Pastry Cake on his Monday night birthday celebration, but I hadn’t read the fine print (please do!!). This cake needs to be REFRIGERATED FOR 8 HOURS. I had purchased all the ingredients and was set to go when my eyes glanced over the second last directive. It was then that I realised if I went ahead his birthday cake would be more midnight snack than after dinner dessert! Bummer. Hastily I rummaged through my grandma’s recipe book to find a cake that I already had the ingredients for and that could be ready in a more congenial time.

I found a sponge cake recipe that gave me hope. I remember my grandma rocking sponge cakes, slicing them in half and sandwiching them together again with lashing of strawberry jam and cream. She completed the number with a topping of cream and berries. Her sponges were light and airy and a regular for birthday treats, so I figured making one for my brother would be a great Plan B. I have watched enough cooking shows to know that sponge cakes can be tricky, but even though I had never made one before I was optimistic.

WRONG! My sponge turned out to be not sponge-like at all. It completely collapsed in the middle and certainly wasn’t light and airy. I was able to make it look half-decent with all the jam and cream components, and I filled in the collapsed centre with a pile of delicious raspberries. But there was nothing I could do to hide its consistency. I had intended to add the recipe to this website but I’ll hold off until I understand more about sponge cakes and can convey the knowledge in my notes.

Chocolate Pastry Cake Up Close
Delicious layers of chocolate pastry and cream make this chocolate pastry cake

When Mother’s Day Celebrations came round that weekend and I had the time to bake this Chocolate Pastry Cake, my brother made the comment that he really enjoyed it and much preferred it to his sponge birthday cake. This was quite something as my brother isn’t much of a cake man anyhow. I had to fess up: this cake was meant for his birthday but I’d run out of time. It certainly was labour-intensive and not something I recommend baking if you have a one year old (plus two others) like I do. But it did win plenty of compliments and I did enjoy making something very different to the usual cakes I make.

So, if you have time on your hands and would like to try your hand at something unusual that will impress, this Chocolate Pastry Cake recipe is for you. Not typical for this microwave generation, allow the time for this labour of love and your family will thank you for it.

Chocolate Layer Cake

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 12

Ingredients
  • 6oz. (170gm) dark chocolate
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2¼ cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6oz. (170gm) butter
  • 1 pint (570ml) cream
Instructions
  1. Put roughly chopped chocolate, sugar, water and cinnamon in top of double boiler. Heat over simmering water until chocolate is melted; add vanilla, allow to cool.
  2. Sift flour and salt into a bowl, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add ¾ cup cooled chocolate mixture; mix thoroughly. Divide into 4 parts. Grease oven trays, cut out 4 circles of greaseproof paper, 8in. (20cm) in diameter, and put on greased trays; grease lightly. Spread a portion of mixture over each paper circle. Bake in hot oven 10 minutes or until pastry is firm. When cooked, remove carefully from trays, cool on wire rack.
  3. Whip cream until soft peaks form, fold in remaining chocolate mixture. Remove paper from pastry layers, join layers with chocolate cream. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving. Sprinkle top with sifted icing sugar.

 

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About the Author

In my kitchen lie my late grandmother's recipe books that have been covered with dust for too long. It's time to open these books and discover tasty food from a simpler life. I'd love for you to join me as I add to this collection some tried and true recipes from my grandmother's recipe books.

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