I know it's hot outside, but this girl needs some cake in her life!
When I moved down to Cambridgeshire, I cut it very close time-wise - I only arranged a place to move 36 hours before I had to leave Newcastle. It was a toss up between two places: one 15 minutes from work, one 30 minutes (minimum); the first place was my first choice, but the landlord didn't get back to me in time so I decided to go for the house further out, in Newmarket.
Because of time and financial constraints, I didn't have time to travel down and view houses so all of the analysis of potential homes was from afar. My first choice looked good on paper and the pictures made it look good; I had a Skype chat with the live-in landlord of my second choice (in Newmarket) and the place looked good but I had reservations about living with a couple.
Because I live so far from work I want to move a bit closer, so I went to view my first choice home last weekend. Do you know what? I am so glad I never moved in! The place was cramped, untidy and apparently in a very rough estate where people frequently get stabbed. On the other hand, my current home in Newmarket is clean, spacious and my housemates are lovely. These are probably the most tidy people I've lived with (a big deal for a clean and tidy person!) I think I really lucked out here - just think, I could have been stabbed by now. Or at least unhappy in my home, which is the worst of situations. I'd much rather live in a nice house and dislike my housemates than live in a horrible place with great people, because when I retire to my bedroom I want to feel happy and content. I can always spend time with the nice people out of the house!
Either way, I think I did pretty well, considering the time I had to sort my future home out. The only trouble is that I've got such a good living situation going that I've become extremely fussy when I go to view other houses. I think I'll only move when I find a place I love. I'd stay, but £120 in petrol per month and driving 50 miles a day is not a routine I'd like to keep up.
The chocolate sponge is sandwiched with chocolate ganache, fresh raspberries and chocolate raspberry cloud icing (adapted from Sweetapolita), then topped with a generous layer of more chocolate raspberry cloud icing and drizzled with ganache. Perfect for a special occasion, or even just as an afternoon snack.
For the cake
- 150g Plain Flour
- 50g Cocoa Powder
- 200g Caster Sugar
- 200g Butter
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 3 Eggs
- 60mL Milk
- 100g Raspberries
For the ganache
- 100g Milk Chocolate
- 25mL Milk
For the chocolate raspberry cloud icing
- 90g Milk Chocolate
- 115g Butter
- 100g Icing Sugar
- 200g Raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Line two sandwich tins with baking parchment.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Sieve the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into the batter and gently fold in until well combined.
- Add enough milk to give a soft dropping consistency.
- Divide the batter between the sandwich tins and bake for 22 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Turn the cakes out of the tins onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
- Wash the raspberries and set aside to drain.
- Make the ganache by placing the chocolate and milk in a saucepan over a low heat. Stir every minute or so until the chocolate has melted and combined with the milk. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
- To make the chocolate raspberry cloud icing, whisk the butter and icing sugar together until combined, then continue to whisk for another 2 minutes. Melt the chocolate and pour it over the buttercream. Whisk for a further 3 minutes.
- Take 200g of the raspberries and mash them into a sieve, ensuring as much of their juice is drained off as possible. Whisk the pulp into the icing.
- Place one cake on your serving dish, then cover with a layer of ganache.
- Carefully dot a few tablespoons of the cloud icing into the middle and gently spread it around the centre of the cake. Leave a rim of ganache around the edges.
- Top with the remaining raspberries, then place the second cake on top (I do this with the cake facing bottom-up for ease of decoration).
- Spread the remaining cloud icing over the top of the cake and drizzle with the remaining ganache. You may have some left over - it's ok not to drown the cake in ganache, unless that's your thing!