Learn how to create a perfect four-layer chocolate cake with vanilla berry frosting, chocolate ganache drip and pretty garden-fresh flowers to finish it off. Kitchen Warehouse welcomes Paula of Charles and Violet into the kitchen to share her recipe and some great basic piping techniques for beginners.
You can view the Layer Cake Decorating tutorial online plus if you are keen to practice your piping techniques we have templates for you to practice. See Below
- Stand mixer or electric hand mixer
- Measuring jug
- Digital scale
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Medium saucepan
- Wooden spoon
- Mixing bowl
- Two 20cm-round baking tins
- Baking paper
- Cooling rack
- Silicone spatula
- Palette knife
- Plastic cake scraper
- Cake turntable
- Cranked palette knife
For the cake
- 1 ½ cups water
- 190g unsalted butter, chopped
- ½ cup of cocoa
- 3 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3 cups caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
For the frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- A hand full of fresh or frozen raspberries or 1 tbsp raspberry jam
For the ganache
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup thickened cream
To prepare the cake
- Preheat the oven to 160C (325F).
- Place water, butter and cocoa in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter is melted.
- Combine flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar in a mixing bowl then add the cocoa mixture and whisk. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla and whisk until well combined.
- Divide the mixture into two 20cm-round lightly greased cake tins lined with non-stick baking paper.
- Bake for 60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow the cake to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
To make the frosting
- Cream the butter on medium-high speed on a stand mixer or using an electric hand mixer until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed and slowly add in sugar.
- Beat until smooth then add vanilla and jam, if using. Beat until all ingredients are well incorporated.
- When smooth, add a small handful of fresh or thawed frozen raspberries and gently stir through mixture with a silicone spatula.
To whip up the ganache
- Place chocolate chips into a heat-resistant bowl (glass or stainless steel).
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, warm cream until it just starts to boil. When you see that it’s just starting to boil, pour in the bowl of chocolate chips and let sit for one minute.
- Whisk it together until it’s uniform in consistency and there are no bits of chocolate left on your whisk. Cool ganache at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until the ganache itself is room temperature.
Buttercream for piping
Paula likes to create a large volume of buttercream at once and suggest the following quantities. If the icing sugar is clumpy please sift first. It is best to add icing sugar gradually to avoid it being spread everywhere when the mixer/beater is switched on. The salt balances the sweetness of the cupcakes
- 500g salted butter, room temperature
- 1 kilo icing sugar
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