SHOW-STOPPING CAKES 4 – Sumptuous party pieces

DESSERT
DIFFICULTY

DIFFICULTY

COOK TIME

COOK TIME

INGREDIENTS

For the cake

nut or seed oil for the baking tin
200g Latteria Soresina butter
200g superfine sugar (where available, or substitute with
caster sugar)
4 eggs
140g flour
60g bitter cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder

For the chocolate cream

250g Latteria Soresina butter
500g icing sugar
100g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa), melted and cooled slightly

To decorate the cake

snowflakes, chocolate fondant and fresh or candied fruit

PREPARAZIONE

For the cake

Allow the butter to soften at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Use quite a deep 20cm diameter baking tin lined with baking paper and then brushed with the nut or seed oil.

Beat the butter with the sugar until the resulting mixture starts to go pale. Add half the eggs and half the flour and mix thoroughly. Add the remaining eggs and flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder and beat into an even mixture.

Gently pour the mixture into the tin you’ve prepared and bake for 30/40 minutes, or until a skewer or cocktail stick inserted into the middle comes out clean.Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin.

Prepare the chocolate cream. Place the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and beat until soft. Add the cooled melted chocolate and continue beating for another two minutes.

Remove the cake from the tin once it has cooled completely. Using a serrated knife, cut off the dome that will have formed on top to level off the cake.

Flip the cake over, cut it in half horizontally and fill with a 1cm-thick layer of chocolate cream.

Spread half of the chocolate cream over the top and around the sides of the cake, trying to make it as smooth as possible. Place in the fridge to give this first layer time to solidify, then spread the remaining cream, again trying to achieve as smooth a finish as possible.

Very gently, cover the cake all around the sides with the snowflakes, pressing lightly to make them stick securely, then cover the top with the fruit you’ve chosen for the garnish and the chocolate fondant. You might even want to dust the fruit with icing sugar and wrap a pretty coloured ribbon around the cake.

Decorations

1-SNOWFLAKES

200g white chocolate

Use a large-holed grater or potato peeler to make soft snowflakes out of the block of white chocolate.

2-CHOCOLATE FONDANT

200g dark chocolate
1 tbsp glucose
2 tbsp water

Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie or in the microwave, add the water and glucose, mixing thoroughly.

The mixture gradually starts to thicken and take on a “plastic” consistency until it forms into a ball.

Transfer it onto a marble surface so that it cools more quickly and sprinkle with icing sugar.