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    Step by Step - Chocolate Easter Cake

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    Step by Step - Chocolate Easter Cake

    Make this rich cake for a treat at Easter. The melted chocolate and ground almonds ensure a moist and crumbly texture to the sponge, which is covered in a layer of chocolate cream. For a finishing touch, decorate the cake with chocolate truffles - they are easy and fun to make, so you could make a few extras to give as Easter gifts.

    • Vegetarian


    • For the sponge
    • 200g Waitrose Continental Plain Chocolate
    • 6 tbsp whole milk
    • 175g unsalted butter, softened
    • 175g caster sugar
    • 4 large eggs, beaten
    • 150g self-raising flour
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • 100g ground almonds
    • To decorate
    • 200g Waitrose Continental Plain Chocolate
    • 150g Supercook Belgian Milk Chocolate
    • 284ml carton double cream
    • Cocoa powder for dusting


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease and base line 2 x 20cm round, loose-bottomed sandwich tins with baking parchment. To make the sponge, break the plain chocolate into pieces and place in a heatproof bowl with the milk. Rest the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and leave until melted, stirring frequently. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Stir in the eggs, flour, baking powder and almonds. Add the melted chocolate and stir until evenly combined. Divide between the prepared tins, level the surfaces and bake for 25-30 minutes or until just firm. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
    2. To make the truffles, chop the milk chocolate. Put 5 tbsp double cream in a small, heavy-based pan and heat until steam rises and the cream bubbles around the edges. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until smooth. Turn into a small bowl and chill in the fridge until the mixture is set enough to mould (see cook's tip). Take a teaspoonful of the mixture and, using hands dusted with cocoa powder, mould into a small egg shape. Repeat with the remainder, rolling the eggs in plenty of cocoa to make about 18 little eggs. Chill in the fridge.
    3. To make the chocolate shards, place 2 rows of plain chocolate on a board. Using a small, sharp knife, shave off short lengths of the chocolate. To make the chocolate cream covering, chop the remaining chocolate. Heat the remaining cream, as in step 2, and stir in the chopped chocolate and any trimmings from the shards. Leave until melted then turn into a bowl and chill in the fridge until the mixture is just thick enough to hold its shape. To assemble and decorate the cake, place one sponge layer on a serving plate and spread with about a third of the chocolate cream.
    4. Place the second sponge on top. Tip the remaining chocolate cream onto the top of the cake and spread it over the top and sides, swirling attractively with a palette knife. Arrange the eggs around the top edge of the cake. Carefully scatter the chocolate shards over and around the eggs. Keep in a cool place until ready to serve.

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    Cook's tips

    You could use an orange, coffee or almond flavoured liqueur instead of the milk when melting the chocolate for the sponge.

    If the cake has become slightly domed after cooking, trim with a sharp knife to level when cool. Discard the excess then continue with step 4.

    You will find it easier to make the chocolate shards if the chocolate is slightly soft. If it is very brittle, put it in the microwave for 15 seconds on high to soften. You might need to do this 2-3 times until the chocolate is soft enough to work with.

    Chilling time for the truffle eggs and chocolate cream will vary, depending on how hot the cream is when you add the chocolate. It should take between 30 minutes-1 hour. When making both the truffles and cream, take care not to overheat the cream; if it is allowed to become too hot, it will affect the texture and flavour of the chocolate.

    For extra flavour, add 1 tbsp of liqueur to the truffle egg mixture before chilling.

    Once finished, the cake will keep well overnight in a cool place. Like all sponge-based cakes, it should not be kept in the fridge as the texture will become very firm and the chocolate covering may crack.

    Kitchen tools

    2 x 20cm round, loose-bottomed cake tins
    Heatproof bowl
    Wooden spoon
    Mixing bowl
    Wire rack
    Small, sharp knife
    Chopping board
    Small, heavy-based pan
    Small bowl
    Serving plate
    Palette knife


    Average user rating

    3 stars