Chocolate Sponge Cake with Buttercream and Blueberries
Chocolate Sponge Cake with Buttercream and Blueberries
Cook Time (for the sponge mix)
Easy Chocolate Sponge Cake Recipe
If If you're looking for an easy chocolate sponge cake recipe then this is it.
Nothing puts me off a recipe more than a page of ingredients which reads more like a weekly shopping list, and a set of instructions that involve endless seperating, whisking, mixing, folding and testing, and sounds more like a chemistry experiment so when I say this cake is simple I mean it. The chocolate cake mixture itself takes about 10 minutess to make and the butter-cream and blueberries can be prepared whilst it's in the oven. It's greatest strength is how impressive it is when you serve it ~ you'll get admiration a plenty.
Also, as with a lot of simple recipes, this one lends itself well to being 'tinkered' with. If you don't like blueberries preplace then with another type of fruit such as strawberries. Or how about using oranges and adding the juice of an orange to the mix before baking.
Replacing the buttercream with fresh cream, or a cream cheese filling will give your cake another lease of life. Or how about using white chocolate instead of dark?
This is a great cake to play around with, as so long as the basic structure of the ingredients are kept intact it responds well to changes in flavour.
Chocolate Cake Recipe
You will need 2 x 7" (18cm) baking tins. If you only have 6" tins or 8" tins don't worry, use them, your cake will just be a little shallower or deeper. All it means is you'll have to watch the cooking time a bit more carefully.
Mixing bowl ~ if you're lucky enough to have a Kenwood chef or other electric mixture then that's great, if not a good old wooden spoon will work just as well but will take a bit longer (though as a bonus it's great exercise for the upper arms).
A spatula and a metal spoon are also useful but not essential.
For the cake:
8oz (250g) Caster Sugar (If you can't find caster sugar granulated will do)
8oz (250g) salted butter
4 eggs (ideally medium or large but if it's a mix of sizes that will be fine)
80z (250g) self raising flour (or the same amount of plain flour with a teaspoon of baking power)
2 heaped tablespoons of cocoa powder
50g dark chocolate ~ melted (I melt mine in the microwave until it's almost done, then let the heat of the chocolate melt the last few bits)
For the Buttercream:
8oz (250g) unsalted butter
1lb (500g) icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
This will probably give you a bit more than you need but you can always use the left over to ice some cupcakes.
For the Blueberries:
Handfull blueberries, washed
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Easy Chocolate Sponge Cake Method
- Grease and line your baking tins (unless you're lucky enough to have silicone ones which don't need lining.
- Set the oven to 160C / 140C fan ~ a quick note about oven temperatures ~ they are rarely what they should be. It's not uncommon for an oven to cook upto 20C above or below the temperature on the dial ~ mine own cooks about 10C above which is why I cook cakes at 160C. If you're not sure how accurate your oven is you could invest in an oven thermometer ~ or simply keep a good eye on your cooking and if your cake looks like it's cooking too fast or too slow, adjust the temperature.
- Mix the softened butter, cocoa powder and caster sugar together. This can be done in a food processor, with an electric handbeater, or by beating by hand. Beat until well mixed and you cannot see any lumps of butter.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each one to ensure it is fully incorporated into the mixture. Once the final egg has been added and mixed the consistency of the mixture should be fairly runny.
- Add the melted dark chocolate and mix it in ~ this will give the mixture a noticelably silky texture.
- Add the flour to the mixture and fold together using a metal spoon. Folding is a gentle process of mixing which keeps the sponge light and airy when cooked. Ideally it should be done with a metal spoon. Push the spoon to the bottom of your mixing bowl, gently draw it up and when it reaches the top fold in over so the mixture in the spoon starts to cover the flour ~ continue until all the flour is mixed it. Once finished you should be able to take a spoonfull of mixture from the bowl without and transfer it to the cake tins without it falling of the spoon.
- Divide the mixture between the baking tins, place them on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 20 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. (This may take anything from 20 – 30 mins depending on your oven)
- Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to cool in their tins.
Whlist the cakes are either baking or cooling make the buttercream.
Soften the salted butter and add the icing sugar a little at a time until the desired consistancy is reached, (it should be spreadable but hold its shape), if using an electic mixer use a low setting as it gives a more silky result.
The blueberries can happily be left 'au naturel' but if you want to sugar coat them put the sugar into a cup or bowl, add the fresh washed blueberries and give it a good shake, the sugar will stick to the water on the blueberries.
NB: Ingredients react differently depending on their age, how hot / cold / humid the environment is, so it's quite usual to have to make little adjustments. If your sponge mixture feels too firm add a little water or milk, if it's too runny add a little more flour. Taste as you go along, if the sponge isn't as chocolately as you'd like add more chocolate. The same with the buttercream, if it's a little hard add a little water etc etc.
Assembling the Cake
Lay the 2 halves of the cake side by side, with the flat side (the side from the bottom of the cake tin) uppermost. Spread butter-cream on one of the halves then place the flat side of the other cake on top of it.
Make a little nest of butter-cream on top of the cake either by piping it or just swirl it with a spoon. Place a spoonful of blueberries in the butter-cream nest then sprinkle the others around the top of the cake.