Weekends were made for procrastibaking, so when a friend suggested coming over to bake a birthday cake for his girlfriend, it was the perfect opportunity to put aside the mountain of to-do lists and boring admin, and swap it for a mountain of Maltesers instead. As she loves anything with chocolate and coconut, we decided to make a layered chocolate cake filled and covered in a white chocolate and coconut ganache. It was easier than it sounds, but did end up taking nearly a whole day to make (although this could be because I kept sneaking spoonfuls of batter)!
For the chocolate cake, you’ll need:
- 150g of butter – leave it out of the fridge (or even better, leave it near a radiator) as it needs to be as soft and mushy as possible!
- 250g caster sugar
- 150g self-raising flour
- 125ml sour cream
- 4 medium eggs (at room temperature)
- 50g cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- a few drops of vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
For the white chocolate and coconut ganache:
- 1 can of coconut milk (400 ml)
- 4 bars of white chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 bag of dessicated coconut
- 4 packets of Maltesers!
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Add all the cake ingredients to a large mixing bowl and use an electric whisk to blend well until you have a smooth mixture (see pics below!).
3. Grease the inside of a loose-bottomed cake tin with a knob of butter and pour in half the mixture, saving the other half for a second cake. * If you’re lucky enough to have two loose-bottomed cake tins then grease both and divide the mixture between them, and bung them in the oven at the same time (to save time).
4. Pop the cake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes – to check if the cake is ready, stick a knife through the top and see if it comes out clean or sticky. If it’s still a bit sticky then give it a few more minutes until the knife comes out clean!
5. Whilst the cake is in the oven, start with your coconut ganache. Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan over a medium heat until it reaches a gentle simmer, then pour it over the chopped white chocolate in a mixing bowl. Allow it to rest for a minute (to help the chocolate melt!), then stir it up until all the chocolate has melted and the ganache is smooth! Put it aside to rest (but don’t put it in the fridge!).
6. When the cake is ready, remove it from the cake tin and leave to cool completely. Whilst the cake is cooling, wash the tin, grease it again with some butter and pour in the second half of the cake mixture and bung it in the oven (unless you made both cakes the first time – lucky you!).
7. If you’re waiting for your second cake, there’s not much else to do so have a cup of tea or a little tidy up.
8. When both cakes are ready and cooled, check on the coconut ganache – it should be gloopy but not runny. Stir in a few handfuls of dessicated coconut until you’ve made a thick white coconutty paste!
9. Cover a piece of cardboard with some aluminium foil (or use a cake board if you have one), and smudge some coconutty ganache onto it to stop the cake from sliding around. Pop your first cake on the board, then smother it in the coconut ganache (leaving enough to cover the second layer!), spreading it around evenly.
10. Place the second layer of cake on top and spread the rest of the ganache all over it (and around it!) until it’s completely covered and sticky. Once the whole cake is covered, take the Maltesers and stick them all over the cake – if you start with making a straight line down the middle and working your way out (see pics below!) you shouldn’t get any gaps. Now just store it in a cool place until you’re ready to serve it!
Here’s how we did it:
Measuring all the ingredients in my new Sabichi weighing scales
Just a few drops of vanilla essence…
And whisk away!
Now for the white chocolate and coconut ganache!
Smother the first cake…
… Add the second cake layer on top…
… Smother in more of the coconutty ganache, and cover in Maltesers!