2 heaped tablespoons of baking cocoa mixed in a little full fat milk to make a thick but smooth past (no lumps).
Chocolate buttercream recipe:
250 g unsalted butter, diced
500 g icing sugar (powdered sugar/confectioners sugar), sieved
2 teaspoons of cocoa powder (must be sieved)
For the chocolate ganache you will need:
500 g of dark chocolate (52% cocoa minimum)
250 g of unsalted butter
130 ml of double cream
Mix all the cake ingredients in a large bowl until smooth and divide mixture between 4 x 6? sandwich tins, and bake until a cake tester or skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Turn out on wire rack to cool.
Make up the buttercream, by adding the butter, icing sugar and cocoa into a mixer with a little water until smooth. (Always best to add water an eggcup amount at a time as too much with make your buttercream runny and should be a thick but spreadable consistency similar to cream cheese).
Sandwich all the layers together with the buttercream as below, and place on a cake card of the same size, using a little of the buttercream to stick the cake onto the card.
Using a spatula, cover the whole cake in chocolate buttercream to form the crumb coat starting with the top and then the sides in order to prep the cake for the ganache. Then chill cake in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm.
While the cake is in the fridge, prepare the ganache. Break the chocolate into the bowl, add the diced butter and place over a pan of simmering (but not boiling) water.
Whilst beginning to melt, pour the cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling remove from the stove and pour it over the chocolate/butter mix and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Once smooth, it should contain no lumps and look glossy (as below). Remove from bowl of simmering water and leave to cool a bit, but so it is still warm and pour-able.
Take a baking sheet and lay a piece of greaseproof paper over it, followed by a wire cake rack. This stops the whole process getting to messy and also traps the unused ganache.
Place the cake on top of the rack and using the ladle pour lots of ganache over the top of the cake so that the ganache reaches all the way down and round the sides. You will need to pour several spoonfuls over the top to do this.
Carefully lift the cake off the rack using a long spatula or cake lifter (if you have one) and place on a cake stand or plate and leave to set hard.
Decorate with fresh whipped cream, ganache, fresh fruit, sugar flowers or however you like!
Corozal Town, and Chetumal, Q. Roo, Mexico, Belize
Founder and President of SUPERMAMA - an organization for pregnant adolescence and single mothers. Owner of PrehiSPAnic cocoon - a massage and health spa in Corozal Town, Belize and Chetumal, Mexico and owner of B LIFE health beverages.