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Triple-Tested Recipes (Part 9) - Summer Roast Chicken, Individual Chicken Wellingtons

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Let the celebrations begin!

When it comes to a special-occasion cake – be it a birthday, anniversary, wedding or new arrival – we think chocolate is the way forward. With the help of our fail-safe recipe chart, plus icing, decorating and stacking guides, you’ll be transformed from home baker into a professional cake maker!

The cake

This rich chocolate cake, sandwiched together with white chocolate buttercream, is a definite crowd-pleaser. And whether you want to make a single-layer birthday cake or a five-tier wedding extravaganza, it’s easy to adapt…

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Description: Description: Chocolate Fudge Cake

Here’s how to make the delectable, single-tier celebration cake – out most perfect chocolate cake recipe!

Hands-on time 25 min, plus cooling. Cooking time about 2hr. Serve 40

·         350g (12oz) butter, chopped, plus extra to grease

·         350 (12oz) plain chocolate, chopped

·         275ml (9fl oz) milk

·         375g (13oz) plain flour

·         3tsp baking powder

·         60g (21/2oz) cocoa powder

·         750g (1lb 11oz) caster sugar

·         6 medium eggs

·         250ml (8fl oz) sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 1600C (1400C fan) mark 3. Grease and line a 25.5cm (10in) round cake tin with baking parchment. Put butter, chocolate and milk into a pan and gently melt until smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking and cocoa powders into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar. In a separate large jug, mix together eggs and sour cream. Pour both the chocolate and egg mixtures into the flour bowl, and whisk well until combined.
  3. Pour cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 2hr, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the tin before icing with buttercream and decorating.

Finish your cake with White Chocolate Buttercream Filling, and our Chocolate and Fruit Decoration.

Get ahead: Make up to three days ahead. Cool in tin, then take out, wrap in baking parchment, and follow with a layer of aluminium foil. Alternatively, freeze wrapped cake for up to two months. Defrost at cool room temperature, ice and decorate.

White Chocolate Buttercream Filling

Description: Description: White Chocolate Buttercream Filling

A flavourful filling is the making of a great cake, and this one is devilishly moreish…

Hands-on time 15 min, plus cooling. Makes enough to fill and ice a 25.5cm (10in) cake.

·         175g (6oz) white chocolate, chopped

·         250g (9oz) unsalted butter, softened

·         500g (1lb 2oz) icing sugar

·         3tbsp milk

To make the buttercream

  1. Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. When melted and smooth, lift off and set aside to cool for 15 min.
  2. Put the softened butter into a separate large bowl and sift over the icing sugar. Starting slowly, beat together using a handheld electric whisk until fluffy and combined. Beat in cooled white chocolate and milk. Use to buttercream your cake when you’re ready to decorate it.

To buttercream your cake

  1. When ready to decorate (see step 4, below) take your cooled cake out of the tin and peel off parchment paper. Use a breadknife to level the top of the cake, if necessary. Slice cake in half horizontally.
  2. Spread about half the buttercream over the bottom half of the cake, then sandwich back together. Next, smear a little buttercream on a cake board the same size as your cake (we used 4mm hardboard) and stick the cake on to the board. Spread remaining buttercream sparingly over the cake and decorate.

Chocolate and Fruit Decoration

Description: Description: Chocolate and Fruit Decoration

Turn your handiwork into a show-stopping centerpiece…

Hands-on time 45min. make enough to decorate a 25.5cm (10in) round chocolate cake:

·         350g (12oz) plain chocolate, chopped

·         White chocolate buttercream, as above

·         Mixed berries (we used raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries)

·         Icing sugar, to dust

  1. Cover two large baking sheets or trays with baking parchment and secure in place with tape.
  2. Melt chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. When smooth, take off the heat and pour half on to each sheet. Spread chocolate so it’s just shorter than the banking sheet in length, and twice the height of your cake plus 7.5cm (3in) in width. Chill for 10 min.
  3. Using a large, non-serrated knife, trim edges of chocolate to neaten, then cut in half lengthways. Now cut across rectangles in parallel lines, about 4cm (11/2in) apart. If you like, trim one end of each small rectangle at an angle, then chill until solid.
  4. Buttercream your cake following the method above. Working quickly before buttercream sets, stick chocolate shards to the side of the cake.
  5. Arrange berries to cover the surface of the cake and lightly dust with icing sugar.
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