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How to make

Chocolate and Almond Crown Cake

Recipe by:

James Morton

This is a technically exquisite cake – it’s moist, it’s light, it’s not too rich despite the heavy chocolate use. And it makes an extravagant, if rustic, centrepiece.
Prep time
40 minutes
Cook time
20 minutes
Difficulty
Easy
Servings
8

Ingredients: 

For the cake:

  • 100g Graham's slightly salted or unsalted butter
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 50g Graham's whole or semi-skimmed milk (or buttermilk, yoghurt)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 30g cocoa powder

For the toppings:

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 50g Graham's whole or semi-skimmed milk
  • 100g Graham's slightly salted or unsalted butter
  • 200g icing sugar

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Instructions: 

This is a bake of leftovers. It’s one I’ve made again and again, but never quite the same. I’ve pieced it together from nearly empty packets and those last two eggs left in the fridge (even though, as I’m sure you know, cold eggs are bad for your baking). This is a mishmash cake; a thrifty sponge. Now, describing it as such does do this cake a disservice. Because, for one, it’s technically exquisite – it’s moist, it’s light, it’s not too rich despite the heavy chocolate use. And it makes an extravagant, if rustic, centrepiece.

 

Step 1

First, preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Line the bottom of two 7-inch cake tins with baking paper (non-stick greaseproof), then grease over the top and up the sides. 

Step 2

Make the cake. Into a mixing bowl, weigh your butter. Buzz this in the microwave until just melted. Add your eggs, milk and caster sugar and whisk by hand until combined and then light and airy. Add in your flour, baking powder, almonds and cocoa and then gently mix together until just combined. 

Step 3

Transfer your mix to your cake tins, dividing it equally between them and spreading the mix out flat. Place the tins in the oven and check them after 20 minutes by gently pressing down on them – if they spring back, they’re done. If there’s in any way boggy, give them another 5 minutes and check again. 

Step 4

Transfer your mix to your cake tins, dividing it equally between them and spreading the mix out flat. Place the tins in the oven and check them after 20 minutes by gently pressing down on them – if they spring back, they’re done. If there’s in any way boggy, give them another 5 minutes and check again. 

Step 5

Make a quick buttercream – melt your butter in the microwave, then add your icing sugar and stir to combine. Once it’s come together, use a whisk to beat and beat it until it’s ice white in colour. Set aside. 

Step 6

Make a chocolate ganache by bringing your milk to a simmer in a saucepan over a medium heat, then removing it from the heat and adding 100g of your chocolate. Stir this together until it’s smooth, then set aside until needed. 

Step 7 

Build your cake when the chocolate is set. Place half of your baked cake on a plate or cake stand, and then spread it with about half of your buttercream. Place the other cake on top, then use a knife to spread the sides of your sandwich with the rest of your buttercream. 

Step 8 

Spread your ganache on top of your cake and then grate the wee bit of chocolate you have left to over the top of the ganache. Finally, cut your chocolate into shards and place these on the side of your cake. Or just ignore my instructions and decorate however you like, but that’s how to make it look like the photo. 

 

Enjoy!

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