This cake was meant to be an entry for a John Whaite Book Club competition (and also dessert for a gathering with some of my teacher friends) but as you will discover if you read on, it ended up in no fit state to be photographed…
There were many lessons I learnt when making this cake…
1) Always use the correct size cake tins – if it says 20cm it means 20cm! Sadly I don’t own any 20cm tins. I own 18.5cm tins and 23cm tins. I opted for the 23cm tins thinking this would be better but sadly not! I ended up with large almost flat sponges.
2) Check your self-raising flour is in date Mine was best before June which I think may have contributed towards my flat sponges.
3) If it says the ganache filling will take a long time to thicken it means it will take a long time to thicken.
4) If your judgement is telling you not to try to assemble the cake don’t do it! I thought about taking the sponges and ganache separately and assembling it when needed but stupidly thought it would be ok. It wasn’t – the ganache wasn’t thick enough and spilled out everywhere. The cake started to slip and slide around in my car and due to some unexpected breaking ended up in pieces. It was essentially a cake jigsaw puzzle that I had to arrange into something resembling a cake when I arrived at my friends house. Luckily I have some lovely friends who said it still looked delicious
I wasn’t going to post this but actually it was a big hit and when it was sliced into pieces it didn’t actually look too bad (if you looked at it in a creative way!) and a blog post was requested by my friends. Sadly I only had my phone with me so the pictures of the end result aren’t great. If you are brave enough to attempt this (and not as silly as me and don’t make the same mistakes I did) you can find the recipe here on John Whaite’s Facebook page.
For the sponge
200g unsalted butter (At room temperature, cut into cubes)
100g white chocolate (Broken into pieces)
200g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
175g fresh raspberries
Icing sugar (For dusting)
For the ganache filling
200g white chocolate (Broken into pieces)
250ml double cream
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Grease and base-line two 20cm (8in) round loose-bottomed cake tins.
2) Put the butter and chocolate in a large heatproof mixing bowl above a pan of barely simmering water and allow them to melt and meld together slowly, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for a minute or so (the mixture will look a bit strange as the second photo shows but don’t worry).
3) When the melted butter and chocolate have cooled, add the eggs and sugar and beat with an electric mixer until you have a smooth and consistent batter (This takes a minute or two. To begin with you will think it is never going to create a smooth batter but have faith – it will come together!) Sift the flour over the bowl and fold that in, along with the fresh raspberries.
4) Gently pour into the prepared cake tins, dividing equally between them.
5) Bake for 20-25 minutes (or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean). Remember to switch the tins halfway through baking if you are not baking them on the same shelf. Allow to cool completely.
6) To make the ganache, put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl with 100ml of the cream. Set over a pan of barely simmering water and stir until the chocolate has melted into the cream and you are left with a smooth, glossy ganache. Leave to cool to room temperature, then beat in the rest of the cream. It takes a long time for the ganache to cool and thicken, so you will need to be patient! (Something like several hours…)
7) When the cakes have cooled, sandwich them together – the lower one base-side down, the upper one inverted, so that you have a smooth top and bottom – with the white chocolate ganache. Dust with icing sugar, just before serving.
Happy baking (and good luck!)