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Juliet Sear’s epic Matilda cake

In cinemas from today, ‘Matilda the Musical’ is hitting our screens just in time for Christmas. And to celebrate everyone’s favourite childhood book character, Juliet Sear is in the kitchen making THAT famous chocolate cake. The very one she made for the film… if it’s good enough for Bruce Bogtrotter, it’s good enough for us! 

Matilda chocolate cake

Serves: 12-14

Ingredients

You’ll need: 2 x 20cm (8in) round cake tins, grease, base and side line both tins.

For the chocolate frosting:

360g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces or use small chips

225g double cream

135g icing sugar, sieved

90g salted butter, very soft

 For the cake: 

250g self raising flour, sifted

1 tsp baking powder

½  tsp fine sea salt

75g cocoa powder

150ml boiling water

250g golden caster sugar

160ml sunflower oil

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

150ml whole milk

To decorate like I did in the film: 1 jar cocktail cherries, stem on 


Method

1. To make the chocolate frosting: Boil the cream and pour over the chocolate and put a plate on top to trap the heat, leave for 5 minutes, then bring together the mix with a wooden spoon in the centre, stirring in one direction until the ganache comes together, set aside to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 160 fan

3. Dry whisk the sieved flour with the baking powder and salt

4. Whisk the cocoa and boiling water together until smooth

5. Weigh the sugar into a large mixing bowl, then pour over the oil, whisk

6. Beat in the eggs

7. Add the cocoa mix and vanilla and milk and mix together well. 

 8. Add the flour mix and whisk until smooth then divide equally between the tins and bake in the oven for about  20-25- minutes until well risen and the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger and a skewer comes out clean.

9. Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.

10. For the chocolate frosting: When the cake is cooling, add the icing sugar to the cooled but not set ganache and whisk in with an electric hand whisk or balloon whisk until really smooth. Then whisk in the soft butter until you have a lovely glossy and whippy icing. It should feel soft enough to spread over the cake but hold its shape, not be runny. If it needs to cool down a little to firm up, leave it, you just need to stir every now and then to make sure the outside doesn’t harden.

11. If it does set a bit, you can pop it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to soften it up, just whisk it again if there’s any lumps so it’s all smooth.

12. To assemble, trim the cake tops with a bread knife if they need it to level. Place a blob of frosting on the cake plate or stand and put one layer (trimmed side up) and add some of the frosting to the cake. Spread all over so it slightly comes out over the edge.

13. Place the second cake on, trimmed side down so the smooth part is facing up and pile on the rest of the frosting.

14. Smooth over the top and sides, and to create the textured effect I did for the film, run a palette knife up the edge while spinning the cake around so you get luscious rings going up the side. Then use the end of a palette knife or butter knife to do the swirl on the top and add cherries to finish.

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