The bubble wrap technique on this cake is really impressive visually and is really simple to do – great for parties and special occasions

 

225g butter-softened

225g caster sugar

225g plain flour

4 large eggs

25g cocoa powder

For the icing:

175g softened butter

350g icing sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon boiling water

To garnish:

300g dark chocolate-melted

150g white chocolate-melted

Kumquats

1 Preheat oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3 Grease and line an 8inch/20cm deep cake tin

2 In a large mixing bowl cream the butter with the sugar and vanilla extract until very light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and mix in the flour and cocoa powder

3 Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cake is well set-A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come away spotlessly clean and dry. Allow to cool in the tin as it will still be quite soft at this stage. Ideally you should have the cake made the day before you require it.

4 For the icing, cream the icing sugar and butter together in a large mixing bowl for at least 4-5 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract to flavour the icing.

The addition of the boiling water will make the icing really soft.

5 For the garnish, lay a large piece of plastic bubble wrap on the work surface and drizzle the white chocolate over it in a haphazard manner, leaving plenty of gaps to fill in. Next fill in the gaps with the dark chocolate and carefully spread with a palette knife, gently to create a rippled effect. Transfer to the fridge and allow to set.

6 To assemble, split the sponge horizontally in three equal pieces. Spread some creamy butter icing in between each layer of the sponge. Cover the entire cake with the icing and break some of the chocolate into shards and arrange them around the cake in a decorative manner.

7 Fill the top of the cake with the remaining chocolate bubble wrap (broken into pieces) and decorate with some kumquats.

This recipe originally appeared in FOOD&WINE Magazine, September 2016

Recipe credit: Edward Hayden

Photography credit: Harry Weir, assisted by Brian Clarke

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