Spiderweb Chocolate Cake

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Yield: 1 8-inch cake      Time: 1 hour (plus cooling and setting time)


for the chocolate cake

200g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
280g golden caster sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
240ml whole milk
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the filling
5 tablespoons of Nutella (add more if needed)

for the chocolate ganache
300ml double cream
250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), broken up
1 1/2 tablespoons liquid glucose
50g white chocolate, roughly chopped (I actually used chocolate chips!)


Heat your oven to 170C.

Grease and line two 8-inch tins.

  1. Place the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar and butter in a bowl and mix until you have a sandy consistency.
  2. In a jug, whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. Pour half of the wet mixture into the bowl, stirring until combined.  Gradually add the second half and mix until you have a silky consistency (be careful not to over mix as this will result in a tough cake!).
  4. Divide the mixture evenly between the two cake tins and place on the middle shelf in the oven for 25-30 minutes until a knife comes out clean.  Remove the cakes from the tins and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Once cooled, if your cakes are domed then slice the tops off of them so that you have flat surfaces.  Cover the top of one of the cakes with Nutella.  I used a palette knife to smooth it all the way to the edges.  Turn the second cake upside down and sandwich on top of the Nutella layer.
  6. To make the ganache, heat the cream, liquid glucose and chocolate together in a heat proof bowl over a bain marie, stirring until the chocolate has melted and the mixture has come together.  Take off the heat and set aside to cool for a couple of minutes.
  7. In the meantime, melt your white chocolate in the same method (or in the microwave) and spoon into a piping bag with a small-holed nozzle attached.  Set to one side carefully.
  8. Pour the dark chocolate icing onto the centre of the cake and smooth out and over the sides with a palette knife using long strokes to create an even finish.
  9. With the white chocolate piping bag, start slightly off centre and pipe a spiral all the way round the cake until you get to the edge.  The tighter the lines, the more dramatic the effect!  Take a cocktail stick and, starting from the centre, pull it through the white chocolate lines to the outside of the cake.  Repeat around the cake until you have a spider's web pattern!  Leave the icing to set for about half an hour before slicing.


Adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery chocolate cupcake recipe, and the Waitrose food magazine October 2014.


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