There are times in life when you just need a slice or five of a big ass chocolate and buttercream slathered cake. Oreo buttercream. Chocolate buttercream. Oreos. Dark chocolate ganache. All on a deep double layer chocolate sponge. What you saying? Think that’ll fix the chocolate cravings? A broken heart? Okay maybe not the broken heart, but it’s at least a part way consolation..plus, no sharing so who’s the real winner here? That’s right. You are.
This is an oil based chocolate cake, which means it’s (warning: cue your best cringe face)…moist. It’s not a ‘heavy’ chocolate cake, it’s a chocolate sponge: light enough to allow for the buttercream and chocolate ganache without being too sickly – portion control allowing of course. Or not. Just like the labels on jars of nut butters say: consumption is self limiting. The only limit being the entire cake…question is, are you up for the challenge?
Truth be told, this cake didn’t end up how I planned or imagined it. Multiple things went wrong; the Oreo buttercream didn’t pipe, the ganache didn’t work first time, nor did it drip how I wanted it to. I thought it looked so terrible that I wasn’t actually going to bother finishing it. But it was needed for something, so I persevered on the off chance that it wouldn’t end up looking like an utter car crash, and as it turns out…the final outcome looked much better than I thought it could!
With this cake, you must use non-loose bottomed cake tins. The tins need to be a solid base, ideally with high sides. Not a spring form tin either. This is because of the consistency of the cake batter; it’s much runnier than a traditional creamed butter and sugar method batter, and will more than likely seep out of the tin, leaving you with both a messy oven to clean up but more importantly, only half a cake. And no one wants only half a cake.
The second thing is, if you are wanting to pipe the Oreo buttercream, make sure you have a wide enough nozzle that won’t get clogged with biscuit bits OR, ensure that you have bashed the biscuit to smithereens so it’s super fine. This was a mistake I made: the nozzle got clogged and the piping bag split due to the force. Because numpty over here couldn’t work out why it wasn’t piping… Alternatively, you can decorate as I did and spread the Oreo buttercream in the centre of the chocolate ganache drip.
- 200g plain flour
- 100g cocoa powder
- 300g caster sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 large eggs
- 180ml warm water
- 180ml buttermilk
- 60ml neutral oil such as rapeseed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 180g unsalted butter
- 300g + 50g icing sugar
- 25g cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk
- 5 oreos
Dark Chocolate Ganache:
- 60g dark chocolate
- 60ml double cream
- 1/2 tsp coconut oil, opt
- Preheat the oven to 175C. Grease and line two non-loose bottomed tins.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb and a pinch of salt. In a large jug, with a fork, beat together the eggs and buttermilk. Beat in the sugar, followed by the oil, water, vanilla extract.
- Add the wet mix to the dry ingredients and beat together using an electric beater just until you get a smooth, lump free batter. Don’t over mix.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two tins. For accuracy I put the tins on the scales and weigh it for equal sized sponges and so both sponges cook evenly, too. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
- Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the tins to fully cool on a wire rack. The cakes need to be fully cool before you begin to add buttercream or the buttercream will melt and won’t stick to the cake but instead slide off.
- Meanwhile, separate the Oreo biscuits. Place the biscuits in a durable plastic bag and use a rolling pin to bash the biscuits into a fine crumb.
- To make the buttercream, beat together the butter, 300g icing sugar and vanilla extract until thick, light and fluffy, and beat in the milk. Remove 1/4 of the buttercream and set aside. Beat in the cocoa powder to the larger amount. To the reserved buttercream, beat in the both the Oreo centres and the bashed biscuits.
- Once the cakes are fully cool, level off any major doming. These cakes don’t need sugar syrup soaking to keep them moist. Spread a few dollops of chocolate buttercream on top of one cake and using a large off set spatula, push the buttercream to the outer edges. You want a thicker-than-you-think-you’ll-need kind of layer because once the other cake is placed on top and pressed down, the layer will get thinner.
- Using your off set spatula again, crumb coat the cake with the chocolate buttercream – this is adding a thin layer of buttercream around the outside and top of the cake. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the ganache by putting the cream and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and gently microwaving until the cream is warm. Stir together until you get a thick glossy mixture and add the coconut oil. Coconut oil is optional but I think it improves consistency and finish. Transfer to a piping bag and allow to cool slightly so that it can be piped, but not so warm that it will melt the buttercream.
- Remove the chilled cake from the fridge and give a final layer of buttercream to the sides and top. Chill for 10-15 minutes.
- Snip the end off the chocolate ganache filled piping bag and run round the edges of the cake to make a chocolate drip. Allow to set slightly before spreading the Oreo buttercream in the centre. Halve the remaining Oreos and stud in the top.