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Buttermilk chocolate layer cake

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Buttermilk chocolate layer cake

Buttermilk gives this cake a lovely flavour and makes it easy to cut into layers - ideal for decorating. You can sandwich it with the butter cream and frost with chocolate icing, but if you prefer a simpler look, just sandwich with whipped cream and decorate with sifted icing sugar.


  • 125 grams dark cooking chocolate
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 250 grams butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Butter cream

  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 175 grams butter, preferably unsalted
  • 100 grams cooled melted chocolate


  • 250 grams dark cooking chocolate
  • 1 cup cream


  1. Break up the chocolate and melt in the top of a double saucepan or in the microwave.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  3. Put the sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla essence in a food processor and process untilthe mixture is light and creamy. Add the cold chocolate mixture and process to mix.
  4. Sprinkle the flour mixture on top of the creamed mixture, add the buttermilk and pulse to mix. Don't overprocess.
  5. Pour the mixture evenly into 2 well-greased, floured and lined 23cm cake tins. Bake at 180ºC for 35-45 minutes.
  6. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out on to a cake rack.
  7. Split each cake in half horizontally. Layer with butter cream.
  8. Pour the cooled frosting over the cake, smoothing with a palate knife on the top and sides. Return to the refrigerator until firm. Decorate with chocolate leaves.

Butter cream

  1. Put the caster sugar and water into a small saucepan and stir over a moderate heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  2. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl until light. While beating, gradually pour the sugar and water mixture over the eggs. Continue to beat until incorporated and the eggs are thick. Gradually beat in the softened butter and cooled melted chocolate until the butter cream is thick and smooth.


  1. Chop the chocolate roughly and put it in the top of a double saucepan with the cream. Melt over a moderate heat. Remove from the heat and let it stand, stirring occasionally, until cool.

Chocolate leaves

  1. Choose camellia or rose leaves with a good vein structure and some stem extending from the leaf. Wash and dry thoroughly. Melt 100 grams of chocolate and 1 tablespoon Kremelta together in a double saucepan. Either brush the underside of the leaves through it so they're well-coated. Keep the top sides free of chocolate. Place the leaves uncoated side down on baking paper and refrigerate until firmly set. Carefully peel the leaf away from the chocolate.

Cooks Tips

- If you haven't the time to make chocolate leaves, shave a bar of chocolate with a peeler and smoother the top of the cake with the shavings. - Unsalted butter is a must to allow the flavour of chocolate to be its best.

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