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The Mysterious Black Velvet Chocolate Cake

I had the idea of a super rich black chocolate cake tumbling through the back of my mind for a few weeks and then as fate would have it, I came across these glorious shiny, black blackberries and cherries. A Black Velvet cake it was! The frosting is a chocolate version wonderful buttercream-so smooth and silky that the shine echoed that of the polished fruit.

This Black Velvet cake is a wonderful cake. It looks exotic and fierce but It is at heart the richest chocolate cake of your desires. With four layers of chocolate cake interleaved with the silkiest chocolate black buttercream, there is no-one quite like this cake.

INGREDIENTS :

Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

For cake :

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup hot water or coffee

1/2 cup neutral flavoured oil (grapeseed, rice bran)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

100g/3.5ozs. finely chopped dark chocolate

1.5 cups brown sugar (firmly packed)

1 3/4 cups cake flour

1 cup black cocoa*

2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

For frosting :

115ml/4flozs. water, room temperature (test on wrist)

3/4 cup black cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

375g/13.3ozs. butter, room temperature

190g/6.7ozs. caster sugar

To decorate :

6 black cherries

6 blackberries

Purple and gold sprinkles

INSTRUCTIONS :

Step 1 – Butter and line 2x20cm/8inch round tins. Preheat oven to 160C/320F. Whisk the sugar, flour, cocoa, bicarb and baking powder in a large bowl. In a large jug measure the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat in the eggs and then the water. Mix gently into the flour mixture in 3-4 lots along with the chopped chocolate. Divide among the two tins and bake for 30 minutes.

Step 2 – Fit a beater attachment to your mixer and beat the butter, sugar and cocoa together on low speed for 1 minute and then increase it to a speed of 3 out of 10 for 3 minutes. Add the water and vanilla in at low speed and beat on the same speed (3 oout of 10) for another 5 minutes or until the sugar no longer feels gritty between your fingers.

Step 3 – Trim the tops off the cakes and then slice each cake in half horizontally using a cake leveller . If you have time, please cover and freeze the cake layers so that they are easier to ice. Spread the buttercream between each layer of cake and then coat with more buttercream (the cake isn’t overly crumby so I didn’t really need a crumb coat).

Step 4 – Fit a piping bag with a 1A tip and fill with some of the buttercream and pipe dollops around the edge of the cake. Then top with black cherries, blackberries and sprinkles.

This is, without a doubt, the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. And judging by your feedback in the reviews, I’m confident you’d say the same thing!

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