I always imagined that as long as you follow a recipe it will turn out as expected. It was so frustrating to get a bad result. There are 100s of recipes online that you're spoilt for choice. How do you know a good recipe from a bad one. Trial and error? Look at the comments (these are usually mixed and a matter of taste!). Anyway, the recipe below is really simple, quick and produces a light moist sponge.
So I had to find a different recipe and I am please to report that IT WORKED!!! I now have two beautiful dark chocolate & two white chocolate cakes ready for decorating!!!
Here is the recipe (courtesy of Jane Hornby on BBC Good Food):
175g butter , softened, plus extra for greasing
100g white chocolate (we like M & S or Green & Black's with real vanilla)
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
100ml whole or semi-skimmed milk
175g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
200g self-raising flour
2 tbsp very strong coffee (instant is fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract
284ml pot double cream
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
50g white chocolate , melted
small bag white chocolate Maltesers (optional)
Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and bottom-line 2 x 20cm sandwich tins. For the cake, break the white and dark chocolate into two small bowls, then melt in the microwave on High for 1 min or over a pan of simmering water. Put everything else, except the coffee and vanilla, into a large bowl, then beat until creamy.
Divide the mixture in two, then add the coffee and melted dark chocolate to one bowl, and the vanilla and melted white chocolate to the other. Stir until mixed through, then tip into the tins. Bake for 20-25 mins until risen and slightly shrunk from the sides of the tins. Cool in the tins for a few mins, then turn onto a wire rack.
For the ganache, heat the cream in a pan, then break the dark chocolate into a large bowl. Once the cream is just boiling, pour it onto the chocolate, then leave for 5 mins. Stir until smooth, then leave until thickened and cool. Split the cakes in two across the middle (a bread knife works well), layer up the pieces, alternating white and dark layers, and sandwiching, then topping them with the ganache.
To decorate, spoon the melted white chocolate into a piping bag with a fine nozzle (or use a sandwich bag and snip off the end instead). Zig-zag the white chocolate over the cake, then finish with a scattering of white Maltesers. Serve on its own or for dessert with pouring cream. Best eaten on the day, but keeps in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
So if you are making this cake for a family occasion, you can follow the recipe and split each cake in 2 before decorating. For the purposes of my handbag cake, I baked four times (2 chocolate and 2 white chocolate).
So now I just have to ice the cake and decorate it. Look out for pics of progress!