Juliet Sear's egg-stravagant Easter cake

With it being Phillip and Holly’s last show before Easter, we’re helping them celebrate early with the help of Juliet Sear and her delicious Easter cake. Think Mini-Egg Madness as she showcases an egg-stra special bake.

Ingredients

For the Sponge:

425g 70% dark chocolate

425g salted butter

500g light brown muscadavo sugar

6 eggs + 5 yolks

3 tsp. vanilla extract

100ml sour cream

375g self raising flour

70g cocoa powder

For the buttercream:

750g butter

1500g icing sugar

2 tsp vanilla paste

pastel colour of your choice

For the chocolate speckle:

1tbsp vanilla extract

1tbsp cocoa powder

For the decoration:

200g dark chocolate (for the drip)

Chocolate flakes

Mini easter eggs

Method

For the sponge:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

  • Melt the chocolate, sugar and butter together in the microwave on a medium heat or on a bain-marie until all melted together and smooth.

  • Whisk the eggs, vanilla and sour cream together in a bowl.

  • Using a whisk or a fork mix together the flour and cocoa powder making sure it is completely distributed.

  • Add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix well.

  • Fold in the flour and cocoa mixture gently until combined.

  • Weigh approximately 750g batter (per tin) into 3 base and side lined 8” round tins and bake for approximately 15-20 mins until just firm (if you stick a knife in there should still be a little mixture sticking to it so it is a little fudgy) and then cool in tin for 5 mins before turning onto a cooling rack.

For the buttercream:

  • Place the butter and vanilla in your stand mixer bowl with the paddle beater or use a bowl with a hand whisk and beat on high until very creamy and smooth, for a minute or so.

  • Gradually add the icing sugar, about a quarter at a time, beating each addition on slow first so the icing sugar doesn’t puff up everywhere, once combined turn to high speed for a minute or so each time.

  • A good tip to ensure your butter cream is creamy and fluffy - add a tablespoon of just boiled water into the bowl with each addition of the sugar, mix it on slow then turn up to high.

  • Add a little food colouring until you get a lovely pastel shade. Set aside, covering with cling film or a damp clean cloth to prevent it crusting over.

Assembling :

  • If your sponges have any humps, trim to level and neaten first. Place the bottom layer onto your cake drum stand or plate (fix with a little smidge of buttercream to secure) and spread over a layer of frosting. Top with a second layer and repeat with a layer of frosting.

  • Place the last layer on top and with a palette knife; generously spread some of the frosting all around the sides of the cake first (this allows you to be able to hold the top of the cake still while you work around the cake. Use a gentle pressure against the side of the cake with the palette knife and use a back and forth spreading motion to spread the coating over the sides.

  • Once the side is covered, spread a nice even layer over the top of the cake.

  • Once the whole cake is covered, clean the palette knife and go around the cake again to smooth off the excess covering, spreading it until you are happy that it’s nice and neat. This is a crumb coat, which is a good base to work on to give a neat finish. Pop this into the fridge to chill and firm up for at least 30 mins to an hour.

  • For your final layer, repeat the crumb coating process as above, but using a slightly thicker coating. Paddle around the side and over the top until you are happy with the covering.

  • Mix the cocoa and vanilla extract together to make a thick liquid, and using a clean paintbrush or pastry brush, bend back the bristles and ‘flick’ the chocolaty liquid up against the sides and over the top of the cake until you have a lovely speckled pattern.

  • For the chocolate drip melt 200g dark chocolate either in a bowl over simmering water or in the microwave. Leave the chocolate to cool for 2-3 mins.

  • Pour the chocolate into a piping bag and pipe the drips onto your cake (you can do this with a spoon if you prefer but the drips won’t be as neat).

  • Fill in the top of the cake with chocolate using a pallet knife to gently push it to the edges (do not put too much chocolate on top as it will start spilling over and ruin your drips).

  • Decorate the top with mini eggs letting them build up a little in the centre, you can also press a few onto the sides, on the drip and at the base.