As it is tradition every year in August I prepare a cake for my husband’s birthday and this year was no exception. After pestering him for days to know which cake he wanted (his answer “I told you months ago which cake I wanted, remember?” No… “Well, now I forgot which one it was” Mmm…), I decided to pick a recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food cookbook. Every recipe I have made from this book turned out great, so I knew I could rely on it. Here is my adapted recipe for Chocolate Celebration Cake with Puffed Rice and Nougat Frosting.
I bake a lot, but most of the time I choose simple bakes that I can eat without feeling too guilty. Nothing over the top or extra indulgent, just good and tasty treats. I don’t often have an excuse to bake a celebration cake, so when I do I like to make a really decadent one.
This Chocolate Celebration Cake is made with two layers of chocolate sponge, chocolate ganache mixed with puffed rice and nougat frosting.
I love the idea of using chocolate puffed rice (for me and you, it’s Coco Pops) to add a crispy texture to the cake. And if you have never tasted nougat frosting before, you are going to want to taste it now! It is very sweet, but so so good. It’s made with egg whites and sugar and it reminds me of meringue and melted marshmallows.
To prepare and serve the cake I used the beautiful tableware by Sophie Conran for Portmeirion. I love this elegant and timeless tableware range and you probably noticed that I have featured the cake stand and dessert plates on my blog before.
Baking utensils are also part of the range, such as measuring spoons and cups, cake moulds and mixing bowls, all designed by Sophie Conran and made from premium porcelain.
I was really happy with how the cake turned out (although I baked the sponge cakes a few minutes too long and they became a bit dry, can see it from the photos). My husband loved the cake as so did our friends who came over for the birthday dinner party!
Recipe from Comfort Food cookbook by Jamie Oliver.
For the sponge
- 250g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 150g dark chocolate 70%
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 300g caster sugar
- 6 large free-range eggs
- 150g self-raising flour
- pinch of salt
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder
For the chocolate rice layer
- 200g dark chocolate 70%, plus more for decorating the cake
- 45g butter
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- 50ml double cream
- 60g chocolate puffed rice
For the nougat frosting
- 2 large free-range egg whites
- 3 tbsp runny honey
- 200g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease two 9inch / 23cm spring-form cake tins and line the base and sides with a layer of baking paper.
To make the sponge, melt the chocolate with butter, oil and sugar in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir until smooth and glossy. Remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
Using an electric hand whisk at high speed, beat in the eggs one by one until combined. Sift in the flour and cocoa with a pinch of salt and beat for a short while until just combined. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for around 50 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Note: You can choose to bake one sponge and then slice it horizontally in two layers or bake two separate cakes as I did.
For the chocolate rice layer, smash up the chocolate and melt with the butter, honey and cream in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then stir in the puffed rice until evenly coated. Divide the mixture onto the two cooled sponge layers and spread out evenly across the tops, going right to the edges.
To make the nougat frosting, place the egg whites in a heatproof bowl with the honey, sugar, cream of tartar, a good pinch of salt and a splash of water. Place over a pan of gently simmering water, turn up the heat and, with an electric hand whisk, beat for 6 to 7 minutes or until it starts to form peaks.
Remove the bowl from the heat, add the vanilla extract, then carry on beating the mixture until thick. Leave to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then evenly top each sponge and stack them up nicely.
To finish the cake off, use a large knife to shave some dark chocolate, then sprinkle it over the top.
Store the cake in an airtight container in the fridge. Serve the Chocolate Celebration Cake at room temperature.
Note: this is a cake that should be eaten within a day or two, because the nougat frosting doesn’t stay fresh for long and you want the puffed rice in the chocolate ganache to be crispy.
Disclaimer: I received free samples of Sophie Conran tableware. All opinions are my own.