Brilliant blue icing and a fun speckled effect make this show-stopping chocolate cake look like a robin's egg. For best results, practise your speckling technique on waxed paper before tackling the cake. The speckling can get a little messy, so protect the cake plate with strips of waxed or parchment paper.
- Prep time 1 hour & 15 minutes
- Total time 4 hours
- Portion size 16 servings
MethodCake: Grease two 9-inch (1.5 L) round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture, alternating with buttermilk, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of buttermilk. Scrape into prepared cake pans, smoothing tops.
Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centres comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely in pans. (Make-ahead: Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Alternatively, overwrap in foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.)
Icing: While cake is cooling, in large bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Gradually beat in cream. Beat in vanilla. Beat in icing sugar, one-quarter at a time. Remove 1 cup of the icing to small bowl and stir in chocolate. Using food colouring, tint remaining icing robin's egg blue. Cover both icings with damp towels (to prevent drying out); set aside.
Assembly: Invert cakes from pans; peel off parchment paper. Cut cakes in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Place 1 bottom layer, cut side up, on cake plate; slide strips of waxed paper between edge of cake and plate (to keep plate clean). Spread one-third of the chocolate icing over cut side; top with second cake layer, cut side down. Spread another third of the chocolate icing over top. Repeat with remaining cake layers and chocolate icing, leaving top of stack bare.
Using offset palette knife, spread thin layer of the blue icing all over cake to seal in crumbs; refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Using palette knife, spread remaining blue icing all over cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Garnish: In small bowl, whisk vanilla with cocoa powder. Dip small stiff pastry brush into cocoa mixture; standing in front of cake and holding brush upright in 1 hand and wooden spoon in opposite hand, tap brush handle against handle of spoon to create speckled pattern on cake. Repeat with remaining cocoa mixture until cake is speckled all over. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Discard waxed paper strips. Arrange chocolate eggs in clusters on top of cake; surround each cluster with chocolate flakes to resemble nests.
Nutritional facts per serving: about
- Fibre 2 g
- Sodium 367 mg
- Sugars 48 g
- Protein 5 g
- Calories 551.0
- Total fat 34 g
- Potassium 181 mg
- Cholesterol 105 mg
- Saturated fat 21 g
- Total carbohydrate 62 g
- Iron 11.0
- Folate 14.0
- Calcium 7.0
- Vitamin A 27.0