honeycomb

Chocolate Honeycomb Celebration Cake

Whenever I bake a chocolate cake (the layered kind, not the flourless, fudgy sort) I’m looking for a sponge which actually tastes of chocolate, is really moist without being overly dense and isn’t too sickly sweet. I’m always tweaking my go to chocolate cake with these characteristics in mind and think I’ve pretty much cracked it with this recipe. I’ve teamed the light chocolate layers with honeycomb toppers, salted toffee cream filling and a rich ganache coating here, but you could definitely fill it with chocolate buttercream if you want a pure chocolate fest.

Note: this cake is so extra and is definitely one for a special occasion- you could half the recipe and just coat with ganache if you’re after something indulgent but a little more modest

Ingredients (makes a tall 8 inch celebration cake- feeds 12-14 people)

For the cake:

  • 375g plain flour
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 85g cocoa powder
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 2tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • large pinch sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 325ml milk
  • 175ml vegetable oil
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 325ml just boiled water
  • 2tsp instant coffee granules

For the toffee cream filling:

  • 325g soft light brown sugar
  • 225ml double cream
  • 175g butter
  • pinch sea salt

For the ganache:

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 150g milk chocolate
  • 300ml double cream

For the honeycomb (this makes more than enough- I use about half and store the rest in a jar for my many weak snacking moments):

  • 60g butter
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 60g golden syrup
  • 1 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170c (325F / gas mark 3). Grease and line two 8 inch cake tins.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in the microwave in short stints, stirring often). Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl stir together the flour, caster sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. In a jug, lightly whisk the eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the contents of the jug into it. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until well combined then add the melted chocolate and stir again (I just use a balloon whisk for this- nothing electric is required as you don’t need to incorporate much air).
  4. Pour your just boiled water over the instant coffee granules and once they’ve dissolved, gradually add to the chocolate batter, stirring gently with your whisk as you go. The final cake batter will be very thin but don’t worry, it bakes beautifully.
  5. Split the mix evenly between the prepared tins and bake for 45-55 minutes (until a skewer comes out clean with a few moist crumbs attached). Once baked leave to cool completely in the tins.

  1. While your cakes are cooking and cooling you can get on with the filling, ganache and honeycomb toppers.
  2. For the filling, place the cream and sugar in a saucepan and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved and you are left with a smooth caramel coloured cream. Set aside, add the salt (to taste) and cool completely. Once your cream has cooled take the butter and whisk (in a stand mixer or with electric beaters) until it reaches a light, whipped consistency then gradually add your cream mixture. Keep whisking this until it has thickened and is spreadable. Set aside for later.
  3. For the ganache chop up the chocolate and scrape into a heatproof bowl or jug, then heat the cream until it just reaches boiling point and pour directly on top. Leave for a couple on minutes then stir to make sure the chocolate has melted into the cream leaving you with a smooth ganache. Set aside to cool and thicken.
  4. For the honeycomb line a baking tray with some lightly oiled baking paper then place the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan. Gently heat until all the ingredients start melting together then stir to combine. Turn up the heat and leave to bubble until it reaches a deep golden colour then add the bicarbonate of soda and briefly mix to make sure it’s evenly distributed- it should now start bubbling up and becoming lacy in appearance. At this point pour it quickly onto the lined baking tray and leave to set hard.
  5. Once you’ve made all your elements and they’ve cooled to room temperature you’re ready to assemble the cake. To do this slice any uneven tops off your sponges then slice in half horizontally, leaving you with four layers.
  6. Sandwich the layers on top of one another, filling with the toffee cream as you go. Once stacked, spread any remaining toffee cream all over the cake and then chill for 10 minutes (this setting time makes it easier to cover the cake neatly in ganache).
  7. After chilling the cake spread the ganache all over its surface. I used a palette knife to create a line pattern on my cake to tie in with the honeycomb theme but you could make it super sleek and smooth or go for a really rustic look- it’s up to you. To finish it off break up the honeycomb and use as decorations; I also made some toppers by setting melted chocolate over bubble wrap, but it really isn’t necessary!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe- my family and friends went absolutely mad for it so it’s definitely worth the effort if you’re up for a little bit of a baking project!

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Salted Caramel Chocolate Layer Cake

This cake boasts layers of fudgy chocolate sponge, thick salted caramel frosting, dark chocolate ganache and honeycomb shard toppers… unsurprisingly, all these elements marry together to form one of my favourite ever cake creations (it’s no wonder- I am an unstoppable chocolate fiend).

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Ingredients:

For the sponge: 350g plain flour, 450g caster sugar, 125g cocoa powder, 2tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2tsp baking powder, pinch salt, 4 eggs,  325ml milk, 175ml vegetable oil, 400ml boiling water, 2tsp instant coffee granules

For the Salted Caramel Frosting:  50g butter, 150ml water, 125g granulated sugar, 40ml double cream, good pinch salt, a further 200g butter, 600g icing sugar

For the Ganache: 100g dark chocolate, 125ml double cream

For the Honeycomb, see my ‘How to Make Honeycomb’ post here.

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Method:

Sponge

Preheat the oven to 180c and grease and line two 20cm cake tins.

Sift the flour, caster sugar, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.

In a jug, whisk together the eggs, milk and oil. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth with a wooden spoon.

Now measure your boiling water with the instant coffee and slowly add the the mixture, stirring well between each addition.

The cake batter will be very loose, but this is what makes it so moist in the end, so don’t worry!

Split the mix between the two tins and bake for 40-50 minutes until a skewer comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.

Cool on a wire rack in their tins for 10 minutes then remove from the tins and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting and ganache.

Frosting

Dissolve the granulated sugar in the water over a gentle heat, ensuring it doesn’t boil. Once dissolved, bring to a vigorous boil and allow to turn a deep amber colour.

Once golden, add the butter and stir in, then the cream. It will spit a little. Return to the heat and stir until thick, then add the salt, taste, and set aside to cool.

In a bowl, beat together the 200g butter, milk and icing sugar until smooth. When the caramel sauce has cooled, add this to the plain buttercream and beat in to create a soft spreadable icing. Add a few drops of milk if you want it looser or a little icing sugar if you require a thicker consistency.

Ganache

Simply chop the chocolate and place in a jug/ bowl then heat the cream. Pour over the hot cream and allow the chocolate to melt, then stir together thoroughly and set aside to cool while you assemble the cake.

To assemble: Slice the two cakes into two so you are left with four layers. Pile these up with a generous spread of caramel frosting between each then cover the whole cake with the remainder. Smooth down.

Place the cake in the fridge for 10 minutes to set the frosting, then retrieve it and drizzle the ganache down the sides with a spoon. Cover the top too then arrange your honeycomb and any other toppers you fancy.

Enjoy!

 

My Halloween Showstopper

This toffee apple cake, sandwiched together with salted caramel and toffee frosting, makes for the perfect table centre piece, especially when topped with honeycomb, haphazard spun sugar and mini toffee apple decorations… Give it a go this Halloween and you’re guaranteed to be popular with friends and family, old and young!

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For the sponge, you will need: 450g plain flour, pinch salt, 3tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1tsp baking powder, 3tsp cinnamon, 1tsp ginger, 250g caster sugar, 200g light brown soft sugar, 300g melted butter, 5 eggs, 3 apples

Grease and line two 20cm cake tins. Preheat the oven to 180c (fan).

Sift together the flour, salt, bicarbonate, baking powder, spices and caster sugar. Mix to combine. In a jug, mix the eggs, melted butter and brown sugar. Chop your apples finely into chunks.

Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Pour in the wet eggy liquid. Stir with a wooden spoon to fully combine and incorporate. Fold through the apple.

Separate the mix between the two tins and level the tops. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.

When cooked, leave for 5 minutes to cool in tins then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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For the toffee frosting, you will need: 200g dark brown soft sugar, 100g butter, 100ml milk, 600 icing sugar, and more milk for loosening

Place the sugar, butter and milk in a saucepan and melt. Stir gently and set aside.

When cooled slightly, add the melted mixture to the icing sugar and stir until combined. If too thick, add drops of milk until a spreadable frosting consistency is achieved.

For the salted caramel recipe I use, click here. 

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To assemble the cake:

Trim the tops of the cakes if they’re not even, then spread 1tbsp salted caramel over the tops. Spread a generous swirl of the toffee frosting over the bottom layer and sandwich the other sponge over it. Coat the entire cake in toffee frosting, using a palette knife to achieve a smooth finish. Drizzle some salted caramel over the top.

For the crushed honeycomb recipe (optional) visit my last post and cancel out the chocolate!

Sprinkle the honeycomb in a circle around the top of the cake.

For the ‘toffee apples’, you will need: some roll out red icing, some kebab sticks and some caster sugar (amounts will depend on how many apples you would like!)

Roll the icing into small balls (slightly smaller than golf ball sized) and stick onto the end of a kebab stick. Place in the freezer to harden.

Place some caster sugar in a saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Once dissolved, let the sugar brown then remove from the hob. Take the icing balls from the freezer and dip in the sugar then leave to set. Arrange in a haphazard fashion around the top of the cake.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Dipped Honeycomb

After an indulgent quick bake to whip up this weekend? Look no further; these honeycomb shards dipped in chocolate are the perfect partner to a cosy Saturday evening on the sofa, or alternatively would make a great side to after dinner coffee.

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To make these chocolatey treats, you will need: 70g golden syrup, 70g butter, 150g caster sugar, 2tsp bicarbonate of soda, 100g dark chocolate, 50g milk chocolate and 50g white chocolate

Line a medium sized shallow lipped baking tin loosely with greaseproof paper and set aside.

Put your syrup, butter and caster sugar together in a saucepan and place over a low/medium heat. Keep an eye on it and if the sugar is gathering in one place, tip the pan gently to break it up.

After approximately 5 minutes, the sugar should have dissolved and you will be left with a light brown syrupy liquid.

When you reach this stage, increase the heat and boil the mixture until it reaches a deep golden brown colour (this should take another 3-4 minutes).

Once the golden honeycomb colour has been achieved, remove from the heat and quickly add the bicarbonate of soda. Mix swiftly with a wooden spoon to fully incorporate (at this stage the mixture will react with the bicarbonate and foam up to form that bubbly honeycomb texture) and tip straight out onto the greaseproof paper. Leave for half an hour to harden.

Once set, snap up the honeycomb into bitesize shards. Set aside.

Now, take your milk and dark chocolate and place in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Gently melt and leave to cool a little (I like to combine a little milk chocolate with the dark for added sweetness, but you could just use dark). Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in the same way.

Dip the honeycomb into the dark/milk chocolate and set down on greaseproof paper. Drizzle the white chocolate over and, if you like, use a skewer to drag into a feathered pattern. Leave to set then devour!

Enjoy!

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