This is such a great recipe! It is one of Delia Smith’s, from her Complete Cookery Course and has been around for years. There are countless reproductions of it on the internet and it must have been made and enjoyed a million times in the years since it was first printed.
Its popularity is well deserved. The sponge, which is flourless and fatless (and therefore naturally gluten free) is light as a feather, yet layered with chocolate mousse and lightly whipped cream it becomes an amazingly decadent dessert, perfect for any celebration. The chocolate mousse adds a rich melty sweetness and depth to the bake, slightly sticky against the fluffy sponge and beautifully complimented by the airy, soft cream.
The original recipe is for a squidgy roulade, which we usually have a couple of times a year and always at Christmas (gives me an extra opportunity to break out the snowflake cutter!), but I wanted to see what would happen if I made it into a layer cake…….
This month’s We Should Cocoa with Sarah at Maison Cupcake (on behalf of Choclette at her newly named blog Tin & Thyme) gave me the chance to give it a go, the theme being layer cakes with at least 3 layers.
It may not be the prettiest cake, but boy……. it tastes amazing. I think I actually prefer it to the roulade version!
To make sure I had enough batter for a full three layers, I added an extra third to the sponge mix, but left the amount of mousse the same, spreading on just the two interior layers so that the final cake wouldn’t be too rich. I also added a couple of meringue nests to the cream (top layer only) for added interest and texture. I found them loitering in the larder from weeks ago when my daughter badgered me to buy them so that she could make a random experimental pavlova for her pudding and there were a couple left over…..
The extra added treat is the Tesco Finest Salted Caramel Drinking Chocolate Flakes which I scattered all over the top. I spotted them when I was shopping last week. I could smell the caramel without even opening the packet and felt my hand reach towards the shelf and like a little grab-truck, drop it into my basket…… They taste incredible…….. the caramel hit they give absolutely elevates the cake both in aroma and flavour, the salty toffiness dancing on the taste buds against the chocolate.
In addition to We Should Cocoa, I am also sharing this wonderful Squidgy Chocolate Cake with the following blog link-ups :
Simply Eggcellent – a new link with Dom over at Belleau Kitchen, which challenges us to conjure up amazing dishes with free range eggs. Being both flour and fat free, the sponge in this cake is dependent on the humble egg. The whole cake uses a full 10 of them!
Love Cake with Ness at Jibber Jabber. March’s theme is ‘it’s in the book’. The original recipe for this cake is a Delia one from her Complete Cookery Course.
Tasty Tuesdays with Honest Mum.
Squidgy Chocolate Cake (from a Delia Smith recipe)
8 large eggs
200g caster sugar
65g cocoa powder
Sponge – log
2 to 3 meringue nests (optional)
grated chocolate to decorate (I used Tesco Finest salted caramel drinking chocolate flakes)
(for log you need only 225 ml double cream)
- Sponge : Base-line three 20 cm/8 inch round loose-bottomed cake tins with baking paper (or a 30 x 20 cm swiss roll tin (2.5 cm deep) if making a roulade) and pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl until they start to thicken.
- Add the sugar and continue to whisk so that it remains thick, but not too stiff.
- Sift and mix the cocoa powder into the egg yolk mixture until well-blended.
- In a clean large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
- Fold the egg whites into the cocoa batter, working quickly and carefully to ensure as much air as possible remains within.
- When thoroughly mixed, pour the batter into the baking tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until risen and the top springs back to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tins.
- Mousse filling : Whilst the cake is cooling, make the mousse filling. Melt the chocolate pieces in a heat-proof bowl either over a pan of simmering water, stirring continuously or in the microwave on 30 second bursts (medium setting), stirring between each. When the chocolate is nearly melted, remove from the heat and beat with a wooden/silicone spoon until the last lumps are fully blended. Cool slightly.
- Beat the egg yolks a little in a small bowl and then add to the melted chocolate and beat again until completely combined and smooth.
- In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the chocolate mixture. Chill in the fridge for about an hour.
- Whipped Cream : Whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks. Set aside in the fridge until ready to assemble the cake.
- To assemble : When the cakes are cold, run a knife around the inside edge of the tin to loosen and turn out onto baking paper dusted with icing sugar. Very carefully peel off the baking paper from the cakes.
- Carefully spread the chocolate mousse over one side of each of two of the cakes (or if making a roulade, over the whole sponge) in an even layer.
- Spread about a third of the whipped cream over the top of the mousse of the first layer and top with the second moussed sponge. (If you are making a roulade, spread all the cream over).
- Spread a further third of cream across the top of this sponge and carefully place the final sponge on the top (smooth side up).
- Crush and add the meringue (if using) to the remaining third of cream and spread across the top cake layer. Sprinkle with grated chocolate and chill until ready to eat.
- For roulade : Using the baking paper under the cake to help you, carefully roll the sponge into a log/roulade shape.
- Transfer the roll to a clean sheet of baking paper and wrap completely, tucking the ends under to hold in place. Place it in the fridge (being careful not to bend) and allow to chill for an hour or so before decorating.
- To serve : Trim the ends and/or cut to the length of your chosen serving dish and sprinkle with icing sugar, stud with fondant stars, snowflakes etc.