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Chocolate Birthday Cake | Italian Meringue Chocolate Buttercream

Updated: Mar 8, 2022


Whatever toppings you have in mind for this birthday cake is limitless and you need not change the recipes for the chocolate cake and the buttercream. The cake is so moist and rich in chocolate and the buttercream so smooth and creamy you really do not need to change anything else. But no rules!




 



RECIPE


MOIST CHOCOLATE CAKE


Unsalted Butter 230 g

Caster Sugar 200 g

Dark Brown Sugar 120 g

Vanilla Bean Paste 2 Teaspoon


Eggs 150 g


Greek Yogurt 240 g

Full Cream Milk 120 g

Lemon Juice 30 g


Plain Flour 280 g

Cocoa Powder 60 g

Bi-Carbonate Soda 6.5 g

Baking Powder 5 g


Dark Chocolate Crispy Pearls Qs



 

Method


1. Start by bringing all the liquid ingredients, eggs and butter to room temperature.


2. Line two 18 cm cake rings/pans with parchment paper around the borders and the bottom.


3. Place the room temperature butter, caster sugar, brown sugar and vanilla bean paste into a stand mixer bowl attached with a paddle. Make sure to scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl occasionally.


4. Cream the mix until light and fluffy in texture.


5. Add in the eggs, one at a time until well incorporated before adding in the next egg.


6. Whisk to combine the yogurt, Lemon juice and milk together. In a separate bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together.


7. Once all the eggs have combined and the mix is smooth, alternatively, add in the yogurt/milk mix and the dry ingredients in 3 additions, starting with the liquid, ending with the dry mix.


8. When all the ingredients have come together, divide the cake mix in to two tins/rings (roughly around 670 g per ring/tin). Using a spoon or a small offset spatula, smooth out the top and tap the pans until they are even and to rid of any large gaps in the mix.


9. Bake in a preheated oven at 175°C for 45 - 50 minutes or until when tested with a skewer in the centre, it comes out clean.


Do not worry too much if the cake has a dome or crack at the top because you will be trimming them off later on.


10. Let the cake cool slightly, then remove from the tin/pan. Wrap the cake while still slightly warm and place in the fridge to cool fully. This will help keep the cake keep moist.


11. When the cakes are fully cooled, trim off the top then divide each cake in to 2 even slices horizontally with a serrated knife. You will have 4 portion in total.



 

MILK CHOCOLATE GANACHE


Full Cream 35% Fat 200 g

Milk Coverture Chocolate 400 g

Unsalted Butter 50 g

(room temperature)

Salt Pinch


1. Place the cream into a saucepan and bring it to a near boil. Around 75°C-80°C.

Place the chocolate into a bowl.


2. When the cream is warm enough, pour into the chocolate, ensuring that all the chocolate are fully submerge in to hot cream. Let the mix sit for 2 minutes, then using a spatula, gently stir the ganache until they come together.


3. Transfer the ganache into a deep jug and process with a stick blender without incorporating any air in to the ganache. When the ganache is around 35°C, which should be almost immediately after you stick blend the ganache, incorporate the room temperature butter and blend until smooth.


4. Transfer the ganache into a bowl covered with cling film touching the surface and leave to set to a piping consistency.



NOTE: If the ganache have set too much when the cake is ready, soften 1/3 of the ganache over the bain marie, then add the softened ganache to the 2/3 ganache and stick blend the ganache together until smooth.


 

ITALIAN MERINGUE DARK CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM


Dark Coverture Chocolate 130 g

Caster Sugar 100 g

Water 60 g

Egg Whites 60 g

Salt Pinch

Unsalted Butter 120 g

Vanilla Bean Paste 1 Teaspoon



Method


1. Melt The chocolate and leave to cook slightly to below 35°C. Cut the butter in to cubes and bring to room temperature


2. In a saucepan, place the water into the pan, then the water and gently mix with a clean spatula. Heat over medium heat until the sugar syrup reaches 118°C. Meanwhile, place the egg whites in a stand mixer bowl with a whisk attachment.


3. When the sugar syrup have reached 115°C, start whisking the egg whites at medium speed until there are no longer any watery egg whites left.


4. When the sugar syrup have reached 118°C, take the pan off the heat, turn the mixer to low speed. Gradually stream in the cooked sugar syrup in to the whisking egg whites.


Keep whisking until stiff peak forms. The egg whites should feel cool but not cold. Gradually add in the softened butter in to the Italian meringue in three addition. If the meringue looks like it is starting to split, keep whisking and it should come together again in to a smooth buttercream.


4. Once all the butter have been incorporated and a smooth buttercream is achieved, add in the cooled melted chocolate and whisk until well combined. Do not over whisk at this point because this can cause the buttercream to split.


5. Spread the butter cream on the gateau and spread to smooth the top and the sides. safe some butte cream and transfer into a pastry bag with a star tip pastry piping tip.

Place the gateau in fridge to harden slightly before decorating with the remaining butter cream and ganache.


Note: Buttercream is best used straight away. You can keep the butter cream in the fridge and if you are using it the next day, gently heat over the water bath then whisk until smooth again.



 

CHOCOLATE SAUCE FOR DRIPPING


100 g Full cream 35% Fat

80g Dark Coverture Chocolate



Method


Heat cream to a mere boil then pour over the Coverture chocolate and stir to combine. transfer into a pastry bag and pipe onto the edges of the cake to make drip.



 

ASSEMBLY


Fill each layer of sponge with the ganache. Reserve some ganache to mask the top and the sides of the gateau.


Place the gateau in the fridge to slightly harden.


Make the Italian Meringue Chocolate Butter cream and cover the gateaux. Place back in the fridge to harden.


Drip the ganache all over the edges then pipe the remaining butter cream rosette on around the borders. Top with dark chocolate crispy pearls. Serve and enjoy!

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