Serves: 12-14 - Time:
Of course there is no need to bake this cake only at Easter. Swap the egg decoration for some other sweets-Maltesers for example-or just keep it plain and enjoy at any time of the year. The rich chocolate sponge stays moist (I can’t avoid that dreadful word here-even the thesaurus has no suitable alternatives) for at least 3-4 days. This is also a great cake for a birthday as it will feed at least 12-14 people.
- 100g plain chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, broken up
- 6 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
- 150g Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 275g self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 200g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
- 300g soft light muscovado sugar
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- For the icing
- 250g plain chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, broken up
- 100g milk chocolate, broken up
- 400ml double cream
- 75g golden syrup
- 125g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- To decorate Chocolate eggs
- Grease and base-line 3 x 20cm cake tins with non-stick baking parchment. Melt the chocolate in short bursts in the microwave, stirring in between. When the chocolate has melted set aside to cool to blood temperature -i.e. when you dip your finger into the chocolate you can’t feel any warmth. If you haven’t got a microwave, put the chocolate in a bowl and set it on top of a saucepan filled with about 2cm water. Stir over a low heat until the chocolate has melted.
- Put the cocoa powder in a bowl and whisk in 200ml boiling water. Stir until smooth. Leave to cool. When the mixture is cold whisk in the yogurt and vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled melted chocolate.
- Heat the oven to 190˚c, fan oven 170˚c mark 5. In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a good couple of pinches of fine salt and set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar together until really soft and fluffy-about 5-6 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs, mixing in a little of the flour to stop the batter curdling. Fold in the chocolate mixture followed by the remaining flour. Divide the batter between the three tins and smooth to the edges. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the sponges are risen and slightly shrunk from the edges of the tins. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely. If you want a uniform finish to the cakes you can shave off the slightly domed tops of each layer with a serrated knife.
- For the icing, put the chocolate (plain and milk), cream and golden syrup in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Take off the heat and leave to cool. Beat with an electric whisk for 20-30 seconds then, little by little beat in the softened butter. Set aside at least a third of the icing and spread the rest over two of the cakes. Layer up the sponges and spread the reserved icing over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with eggs to serve.