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Great British Baking Show’s Chocolate & Speculoos Cake

If you’re a fan of the Great British Baking Bake Off, then you’ll love the new book Great British Baking Show: Favorite Flavors, where you get to try your hand at some of the recipes from across the pond like this delectable cake. Here is what the authors had to say about this recipe:

This truly indulgent layer cake is made with one of the tastiest additions to the modern pantry: speculoos biscuits. Originally from Belgium, these little caramel-colored treats are mildly spiced with cinnamon and this cake has a double hit of them in the biscuits and in the speculoos spread in the buttercream filling.

Serves 12

Ingredients


Sponge

  • 75 grams 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 200 grams plain flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 75 grams unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 275 grams light brown soft sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 175 milliliters soured cream
  • 100 milliliters just-boiled water

Buttercream

  • 100 grams 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 5 egg whites
  • 200 grams caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 75 grams speculoos biscuits
  • 450 grams unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 200 grams speculoos spread

Instructions


Make the Sponge

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas 4. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the chocolate to cool slightly.
  1. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.
  1. Beat the butter and light brown soft sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the beater, on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping down the inside of the bowl from time to time, until smooth. Add the eggs, a little at a time, mixing well between each addition, then add the vanilla and melted chocolate and mix to combine.
  1. Add one-third of the dry ingredients and half of the soured cream to the mixer bowl and mix on low speed until just combined. Add another third of the dry ingredients and the remaining soured cream and mix again, then add the remaining dry ingredients and mix to combine, scraping down the inside of the bowl. Add the just-boiled water and mix on low speed until smooth.
  1. Divide the mixture equally between the prepared tins and spread it level. Bake the sponges on the middle shelves for 25 minutes, until risen and a skewer inserted into the center of each comes out clean. Leave the sponges to cool in the tins for 15 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

Make the Buttercream

  1. While the sponges are cooling, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the chocolate to cool slightly.
  1. Using a balloon whisk, combine the egg whites, caster sugar, salt and 1 tablespoon of water in a large heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and whisk continuously for 5 minutes, until the mixture is hot to the touch, thickened, and leaves a ribbon trail when you lift the whisk. Scoop the meringue into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes, scraping down the inside of the bowl from time to time, until stiff, glossy and cold.
  1. Meanwhile, tip the biscuits into a freezer bag and crush them with the end of a rolling pin until they form crumbs. Set aside.
  1. Gradually, add the butter to the cooled meringue mixture, whisking continuously and scraping down the inside of the bowl from time to time, until silky smooth and glossy. Add the speculoos spread and half of the melted chocolate (set aside the remaining half) and whisk again until smooth.

Assemble the Cake

  1. Place 1 sponge layer on a serving plate or board and spread about 6 tablespoons of buttercream over the top. Scatter over one third of the biscuit crumbs. Top with the second sponge, spread over 6 tablespoons of buttercream and scatter with another third of the crumbs. Top with the third sponge and gently press it down. Cover the top and side of the cake with a thin, smooth crumb coat of buttercream. Chill for 30 minutes.
  1. Spoon 8 tablespoons of the buttercream into the remaining melted chocolate, mix until smooth and spoon the mixture into one of the piping bags fitted with a medium plain nozzle. Set aside. Spoon a further 8 tablespoons of the original buttercream into the remaining piping bag and set aside.
  1. Spread the remaining buttercream in the bowl evenly and smoothly over the top and side of cake with a palette knife. Use the tip of a palette knife to create ridges in the buttercream around the cake, working from the top of the cake to the bottom.
  1. Use the buttercream in the two piping bags to pipe two-tone buttercream kisses in alternating concentric circles over the top of the cake to cover. Press the remaining biscuit crumbs around the bottom of the cake. Chill the cake for 20 minutes before slicing to serve.

Excerpted from Great British Baking Show: Favorite Flavors by Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, and The Bake Off Team. Copyright 2022. Published with permission from Mobius.

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Editors
Pastry at Home is a hub for elevated dessert recipes for home bakers. Our editors Tish Boyle and AnnMarie Mattila strive to bring you the best curated content to help make you a smarter baker and dessert maker. If you want to be a part of our community, please contribute on the Submit a Recipe page. Or if you have another contribution idea or product you think we would like, shoot us an email at info@pastryathome.com. We would love to hear from you!

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