Prep time:

Cooking time:

Total time:

Serves: 20

Chocolate Mud Cake

150g Black Cherry Preserve

Chocolate Buttercream

Vanilla Buttercream

80 White Chocolate Cigarellos

400g Fresh Cherries

Hologram Red Edible Glitter

250g Unsalted Butter, softened

350g Icing Sugar

choice of flavourings: for vanilla buttercream add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or the seeds from 1 vanilla bean; for chocolate buttercream add 50g cocoa powder; for lemon buttercream add 2 tablespoons prepared lemon curd

Inspired by the Lady of the Cake, Cherry Shakewell, this cake is gorgeous, crowned with glittering cherries. I have used vanilla buttercream and white chocolate cigarellos on the outside to conceal the deep dark chocolate and black cherries within.

  1. Begin by removing any peaks from your cakes. Do this by laying a serrated knife across the top of your cake pan and, using this as a guide, carefully cut away any cake that has risen above the pan. Now remove the cakes from their pans.
  2. Spread the cut side of one cake with black cherry preserve and the cut side of the other cake with the Chocolate Buttercream. Sandwich your cakes together so that the preserve and buttercream are in the centre.
  3. Dollop a friendly helping of Vanilla Buttercream onto the top of your cake and, using a large palette knife, spread the buttercream over the top and sides of the cake. Tidy up the edges of your cake by holding the side scraper flush against your work surface and slightly into the buttercream on the side of your cake. Slowly, pull the scraper towards you and you should see the excess buttercream being removed as you work around the cake. You will need to stop and clean off the scraper every now and then to create a smooth finish. Use your scraper to scrape the top edges of the cake in towards the centre to achieve a clean top edge.
  4. Line up your chocolate cigarellos around the edge of your cake, one by one, pressing each cigarello lightly into the buttercream to secure. When you have completely covered the outside of your cake, carefully tie a ribbon around the middle of the cake; this makes the cake look pretty and also helps to keep the cigarellos secure.
  5. Rinse your cherries under cold water, then pat dry with paper towels. Whilst still on the towel, take a hearty pinch of the red edible glitter and sprinkle this onto your cherries. Once you are content that they are sufficiently glistening, arrange them atop your cake like precious jewels.

For the Buttercream

(Makes sufficient buttercream for 1 large cake, 24 cupcakes or 32 mini cakes):

All buttercreams begin in the same way. I have added a few basic flavour variations to allow you to use your buttercream to complement your cake. I like to beat my buttercream for a good 5 minutes to really fuse the sugar and butter together so that the end result is light, smooth and deliciously creamy.

  1. Roughly carve up the butter and beat in a freestanding mixer for 3 minutes until creamy. You can also do this by hand or using a hand-held electric mixer and a large mixing bowl, although you may find that this takes longer.
  2. Add your desired flavouring and beat in.
  3. Once your flavour is fully incorporated, add 250g of the icing sugar and beat for 1 minute. Check the consistency of your buttercream – you are aiming for the thickness of thick whipped cream – if your buttercream is too runny, add the remaining icing sugar. You will then need to beat the buttercream for a further 5 minutes, until the sugar is completely incorporated.

  • words:
  • pictures: Clare Winfield

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