Helen made this beautiful African inspired cake for her friend’s 30th Birthday. Its a dense chocolate cake which is perfect for a base for fondant icing. It is made with dark chocolate pieces and cocoa and is rich and moist.
Helen and I spent a great day with Maria Launder of Sugar Me learning the fundamentals of making marshmallow fondant icing, floodwork, perfecting fondant covering and so much more. Maria has been icing and decorating cakes for the past 30 years and has been teaching for 5 years. I wont be able to share her recipes and teachings with you, but if you would like to see how to make marshmallow fondant and cover a cake with it, have a look at this great tutorial by Peggy Weaver on how to make and roll fondant icing, click Here for Marshmallow Fondant Icing Recipe and Photo Tutorial.
And while you are about it why not take a peek at this beautiful Sugar Animals book by Francis McNaughton. These are the cutest animals to make for novelty cakes available at Amazon.com and kalahari.net in South Africa.
- 175g dark chocolate (or dark Belgium chocolate pieces)
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1½ cups water
- 235g butter
- 1¾cups dark brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup plain all purpose flour
- ¾ cup self raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Preheat the oven to 160ºC.
- Using a 22cm(9in) round cake pan spray with spray and cook and line base and sides with baking paper. Extend the paper 5cm above the pan to allow for rising.
- Combine the broken chocolate, sifted cocoa, and water in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the chocolate has melted and smooth.
- Pour into a mixing bowl and leave to cool for about 15 minutes.
- Add the butter, sugar , eggs, vanilla essence, sour cream and sifted dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture and and beat on low with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth.
- Spread in the pan and bake for 1¾hours. Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre. If it does not come out clean then cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool in the pan. Only when completely cool turn out onto a wire rack.