This Easter has literally flown by. In fact, this whole year has been like that so far. At some point last year I decided I would make hot cross buns this year for Easter, a resolution I did not stick to for lack of time. I indulged in different types of Easter cupcakes, including some with coconut and white chocolate which I took to our favourite café, where we usually spend Sunday mornings slowly waking up to the sight of a salmon and cream cheese omelette (for me) and a full English breakfast (for my partner). It might sound odd to some of you to bring food to a restaurant, but I did because most of the time I end up with more food (read: cake) than we can eat and the girls there are so nice it was a pleasure to give something back. By the way, the place is called Moments, check it out on TripAdvisor!
The recipe for this cake comes from Jo Wheatley, the winner of the second edition of the GGBO. The chocolate sponge is a fail-proof recipe as it’s very easy and can be used as a base for thousands of desserts. The icing, with the addition of passion fruit juice, gains a certain tangy and fruity note which marries the sweet indulgence of the cake. The pulp and seeds of the passion fruits are not wasted either, as they get drizzled on top (maybe more than I did). Top with some chocolate eggs for a more Easter treat, if you wish. Otherwise, plain is just fine. Serve with a strong cup of tea and enjoy!
Ingredients (for the cake)
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 300g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 270g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 75g cocoa powder
- 200ml soured cream, at room temperature
- 50g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tsp chocolate extract
Ingredients (for the butter icing)
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 500g icing sugar
- 150g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 very ripe passion fruits
- about 10 coloured chocolate eggs (optional)
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C. Line and grease a 20cm springform tin with high sides.
- In the bowl of a freestanding mixer, beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition.
- In a bowl, mix the flour, raising agents and cocoa powder. Add half the dry mixture to the the egg mixture and fold in using a large metal spoon or a rubber spatula.
- In another bowl, mix the soured cream with the cream cheese and the chocolate extract, then add half to the cake and fold that in. Repeat the process with the remaining flour and sour cream mixtures, then mix until smooth.
- Pour into the cake tin. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin and inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the icing, beat the butter and the cream cheese until softly whipped using a freestanding mixer, then slowly add the icing sugar and mix until fully combined. Halve the passion fruits, then sieve the juice, reserving the pulp and seeds. Add the juice to the icing and mix until smooth.
- To assemble the cake, slice it in three layers using a serrated knife. Place the first cake layer onto your serving dish or cake stand, then transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a big plain nozzle and start piping small drops onto each cake layer. You can do it in rings starting from the outside or in lines, totally up to you. Top with the second one and repeat, until you have covered the top layer too. If you’re running out of icing, just spread some in the middle of the top layer – you will cover this with the chocolate eggs, so it doesn’t matter if it isn’t perfect.
- Place the chocolate eggs in the middle of the top layer, then drizzle the reserved passion fruit pulp and seeds on top of the cake. Enjoy!