So here comes that time of the year when Easter egg hunts are organised, vacation plans are being made, and of course, the beautiful chocolate creations are being displayed everywhere. The magical chocolate season has arrived with all the chocolate eggs, bunnies, chicks and even chocolate fish.
Last weekend I’ve been to the biggest chocolate festival in the “chocolate land” Switzerland. Among the wonderful chocolate creations was a massive 150kg fish displayed in the very middle of this exposition. Why a fish? Because the festival took place on the weekend of April fools. And in Switzerland instead of calling it April fools day they call it: “poisson d’avril” which literally translates to “April’s fish”.
I really enjoyed walking around and discovering all possible and impossible variations of chocolate. It was so much fun getting involved in different activities at the festival, which inspired me to get creative with chocolate myself and I thought that maybe I should try and make something at home.
Having friends invited to my place last weekend – who always appreciate my cooking and particularly my baking and decorating skills – I needed to make something different.
I recently came across a new social network for bakers called “We Bake“. In this network, there is a community challenge called “Beat the Baker“. The campaign features former GBBO winner John Whaite who is challenging other bakers to beat them with their own chocolate cakes. To do this, bakers have to enter their creations into the Beat the Baker community challenge at webake.co.uk for a chance to win a trip to Belgium. So I thought to myself that if I take this challenge, I will get even more motivated to be creative and Beat the Baker! Not only to impress my friends, but also to get rewarded by this community simply for baking – something that I love to do! And maybe win myself a trip to Belgium (keeping my fingers crossed!). I decided to take the challenge and show off my cake baking and decorating skills!
I baked this gorgeous fudge chocolate cake, and decorated it with even more chocolate and fudgey brownies. The ingredients that I’ve used are very simple and could be found in every kitchen, but the magical twist was the Fine Dark Cocoa Powder that I used from Dr. Oetker. It made the cake taste like a chocolate heaven.
However, the bigger part of the challenge was to decorate the cake. For that, I used Fine Cooks’ Extra Dark Chocolate from Dr. Oetker with 72% cocoa solids to make the frosting. And my secret that transformed my creation into something extraordinary will not be a secret anymore, as I will share it with you right now. I’ve used the Gold Shimmer Spray from Dr. Oetker to decorate the cake. This lush edible spray made my cake look like it’s worth a million pounds. I also decided to dip fresh strawberries in melted dark chocolate, spray them with the Gold Shimmer Spray, and top the cake with some brownies. The end result was amazing! It is all about the magic of chocolate. And believe me, this is what makes Easter so special.
I created a profile on We Bake and uploaded my recipe and pictures of the final result (see it here). On this website we can connect with other bakers like you and me, get advice and needed motivation to go a step further. Moreover, we get rewarded for our work with great prizes from community challenges. We Bake is also the first baking social media platform, it’s like a mix between Facebook and Instagram but with 100% baking content.
Now I’m almost sure I’ll win the challenge with my chocolate cake, why don’t you join me and Beat the Baker too? Become a We Bake member and get a chance to win a trip to Belgium and celebrate Easter with lots of Belgian chocolate!
- For the cake:
- 2½ cups (375g) all purpose flour
- 1 cup (95g) Fine Dark cocoa powder by Dr Oetker
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 stick (115g) butter, melted
- 2 cups (400g) powdered sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1½ cups (375ml) milk
- 1 cup (250ml) hot water
- For the frosting:
- 3 sticks (345g) butter, soft
- 5 cups (600g) confectioner's sugar, sifted
- ½ cup (50g) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup (60ml) milk (or less, depending on the consistency of the frosting at that point)
- 225g Fine Cooks' Extra Dark Chocolate by Dr. Oetker with 72% cocoa (melted and cooled)
- To decorate:
- 8 fresh strawberries
- ¼ cup Fine Cooks' Extra Dark Chocolate by Dr. Oetker with 72% cocoa
- 5 brownie pieces
- Dr Oetker gold Shimmer Spray
- Preheat the oven to 180c. Lightly grease four 15cm cake tins.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In large mixing bowl, whisk butter with sugar. Then add eggs and using a stand mixer beat for a minute.
- Gradually start adding the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. I usually do this in 3 or 4 batches alternating with milk. When mixture becomes homogenous, mix in hot water.
- Divide batter between prepared pans and bake for around 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the cake.
- Before decorating, leave cake on wire rack to cool completely.
- To make frosting: In a stand mixer, beat butter with sugar until soft and creamy. Then mix in cocoa powder, salt, as well as milk (make sure not too add too much milk to reach the right consistency). Add in melted chocolate and mix on high speed until creamy.
- Assemble the cake by stacking the sponges and dividing the frosting in five quantities, to have enough frosting to spread between sponges and finally decorate the cake.
- To decorate the cake, melt chocolate and dip the strawberries in the melted chocolate then place on the cake. Hold each strawberry in place for a few seconds until it sets as chocolate might be too hot and runny. Stack with brownie squares and finally spray with gold shimmer spray on the bottom of the cake and the strawberries.
This post is in collaboration with Dr Oetker. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Little Sunny Kitchen happen. All opinions are my own.