I like to think this is what the Ambassador’s chef makes with all the Ferrero Rochers left over from his receptions.
This is the delicious chocolate cake from my cookbook Friends, Food, Family: I baked one last week and took it to the supper that we had before our panel at the Thame Arts & Literature Festival and it was so good I thought I’d run the recipe again on here with the photos I’ve just shot.
Basically it’s my slightly more adult riff on the first chocolate cake I can remember eating, which was billed as a milk chocolate cake because it used drinking chocolate in the sponge as opposed to proper, grown-up chocolate.
This makes it great for children, as it’s not at all rich but, because it has a proper chocolate icing, it still delivers that delicious theobromine hit. The evaporated milk is a clever touch because it makes for a deliciously light and moist crumb.
375g self-raising flour
4 tablespoons drinking chocolate
6 tablespoons cocoa
450g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons evaporated milk
5 tablespoons water
2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Grease two deep 20cm (8 in) round springform or loose bottom tins. (I use butter or, best of all, cake release spray. If you only have normal tins then you will need to grease and line them with greaseproof paper.)
In a food processor, (you can make this in a stand mixer, but the processor makes for a smoother batter) tip in the dry ingredients and the butter, and whizz together.
Mix together all the liquid ingredients: eggs, milk, water and vanilla essence, then stir in.
Whizz together until the mixture is well combined, but be careful not to overbeat as this will end in a heavy cake
Divide the mixture between the two greased tins, smoothing off the top.
Bake at 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4 for about 45-50 minutes. The cake should be springy when pressed with a finger, and a skewer inserted in the middle will come out clean.
Turn out carefully onto an airing rack, and make sure it is completely cool before icing. (This will take about an hour)
FOR THE CHOCOLATE FUDGE FILLING AND ICING
16 Ferrero Rocher chocolates: ten for the middle, and six on top
(You can also swap in four sticks of Kinder Bueno for the middle which work very well, and are less expensive.)
8 tablespoons sieved cocoa. Do not use drinking chocolate here, as it will be far too sweet when mixed with the icing sugar.
500g sieved Icing sugar (It’s really important to sift the cocoa and the icing sugar it as they are always lumpy and you don’t want an icing with bits in it.)
10 tablespoons Evaporated Milk
3 tablespoons Water
2 teaspoons Vanilla Essence
Smash up ten of the Ferrero Rocher (or Kinder Bueno): it’s easiest to unwrap and crush them in a pestle and mortar.
Tip the butter into a saucepan over a very low heat, and sift in the sifted cocoa. Whisk together as the butter melts.
Combine the evaporated milk and the vanilla essence together in either a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl.
Remove the cocoa and butter from the heat, add to the milk mixture and beat well.
Sift in the icing sugar gradually (do not skip the sifting or you will have a lumpy icing) and beat very well in either your mixer or with a wooden spoon until smooth. Do not add all the sugar in at once as the icing will become impossible to stir.
Once mixed, use immediately as it hardens very quickly.
In a small bowl place two generous tablespoons of the icing and mix with the smashed chocolates.
Dollop the mixture on the top of one cake half, spread it out evenly and then sandwich the two layers.
Then ice the top, smoothing with a spatula or palette knife down towards the side. Then ice the sides. Decorate the top immediately with the six leftover Ferrero Rochers. (If you leave it too long the icing will have hardened and the sweeties will fall off.)
Use a knife dipped in water to smooth the sides if they are looking a bit rough around the edges.
Warning: this icing stiffens very quickly so you need to use it as soon as possible. If it starts to crisp on the surface before application, warm it over a low heat and beat well again. (It should not be made in advance.)