- 400g butter
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 200g plain chocolate
- 700g plain flour
- 800g caster sugar
- 100g cocoa
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…
- 4 large eggs
The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…
- 400ml buttermilk
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of deep, round 20cm and 15cm cake tins with baking parchment – making sure the paper comes a few cms above the sides.
Boil the kettle. Put half the butter and chocolate in a pan and gently melt, stirring. Mix together half of the flour, sugar, cocoa and bicarb with a pinch of salt. Whisk 2 of the eggs and 200ml buttermilk together. Scrape the melted chocolate mixture and egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Add 150ml boiling water and whizz everything together with an electric whisk until lump-free. Divide between the tins and bake for 40-45 mins, swapping round after 30 mins if they’re on different shelves (the 15cm one should be done after 40 mins). To test they’re cooked, push in a skewer and check it comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their tins.
Repeat steps 1 and 2 again, so you end up with 2 x 20cm cakes and 2 x 15cm cakes.
Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Beat together the butter and icing sugar, then beat in the white chocolate. When the cakes are cool, split each one in half. Use the icing to sandwich back together so you end up with 2 x four-layered cakes. Sit the 20cm cake on your serving plate and spread some more icing over the top. Sit the smaller cake on top of that, and completely cover with icing. Decorate with the chocolate buttons.
If you want to add some flowers choose something edible, like roses. Make a posy, wrapping the stems in a little damp kitchen paper then some cling film, add a ribbon and add to the cake on the day of the wedding.
Store itOnce iced, the cakes will be fine for 24 hours in a cool-ish place, but not the fridge. The un-iced cakes will still taste great after two days, so if you don’t have room in your freezer you can still start baking a couple of days before the wedding and ice the day before. Then all you have to do on the big day is poke in some flowers, if you like.
Ice itThe buttercream will be fine in the fridge for up to a week, just bring it back to room temperature before using it so that it is soft enough to spread.
Freeze itThe un-iced, un-cut cakes can be well-wrapped in cling film and frozen for up to a month (just defrost overnight at room temperature before decorating).