A vanilla and chocolate layered drip cake, filled with Oreo buttercream, and topped with rich drippy dark chocolate ganache.
A little over a month since our wedding and we’re back in Hong Kong, back to the reality of work. It’s safe to say the post-wedding blues have now well and truly hit! I miss wedding planning and the excitement of it all. I miss, much as it drove me mad at times, my long to-do list of crafts, and I miss being home surrounded by friends, family, champagne and excitement. This month’s Bumpkin Betty Baking Club theme then came at just the right time for me. Inspired by the Bake Off (best we try not to think about the devastating Mary Berry announcement….), the theme for September is show stoppers. The perfect excuse to for more creative planning, and excessive amounts of cake! For me my show stopper contribution just had to be a layer cake. Layer cakes give me a sense of baking pride like nothing else I bring out of my kitchen. There’s just something about baking something too big to fit into any of the tins we own that makes my sweet-toothed, natural feeder heart very happy!
This cake has four layers, two vanilla, and two chocolate. It’s filled with a vanilla buttercream flavoured with crushed Oreo cookies which, I’m slightly ashamed to admit, reminds me of Oreo Mcflurries. More crushed Oreos decorate the side, and it’s topped with a delicious, rich layer of gorgeously drippy ganache.
I’m particularly happy with how the drips of ganache turned out. It’s taken me a while, and some very bad lumpy ‘drips’ on very ugly cakes, but I’ve finally cracked the knack of getting the drips to dribble enticingly down the edge of the cake. The secret to a good drip cake is to take things slowly. Firstly, you want to chill your cake right down before you start to drizzle. Put the butter-creamed cake in the fridge for several hours. Make sure the buttercream is really firm so it doesn’t start to slide off when faced with warm ganache. The cooled cake will also help set the ganache as it dribbles, meaning it will stop at just the right point on the cake and not flow all the way off.
The same chilling rule goes for the ganache. It’s tempting to go straight in with the ganache as soon as its melted to a delicious silky liquid chocolate, but you need to wait. You need to hit the perfect time when its still liquid, but slightly thickened. If you were to pour it directly on top of the cake it would need a little persuasion to run off the edges. For me this was about 15 minutes, but it will depend on the temperature of your kitchen.
Finally, you have to apply it slowly to the cake. Previously I’ve always done this with a teaspoon, like you’ll see in the lovely arty Pinterest photos. However I found a much better way was to use a rather less photogenic squeezey dressing bottle. Work your way very slowly around the cake, giving the bottle a little squeeze every centimetre or so to create the drips. When you’ve gone right around, put the remaining ganache into the centre of the cake, and carefully spread it out to join up with the drips.
So thats it! The secret to a deliciously drippy ganache to top your layered drip cakes!
– I used butter to bake the cake layers, but I find margarine works equally well in a sponge so use what you have to hand.
- ----- for the cake
- 340g unsalted butter (or 340g margarine)
- 340g caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 340g self raising flour
- 6 large eggs
- 50g cocoa powder
- ---- for the buttercream
- 330g unsalted butter
- 300g icing sugar
- generous pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100g oreos, crushed
- ----- for the ganache drip
- 100g dark chocolate, the best quality you can
- 100g double cream
- 8 oreo cookies, to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ 350F.
- Grease and line 4 20cm baking tins.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until light and pale.
- Add in half of the flour along with 3 of the eggs. Beat until combined, then repeat with the remaining flour and eggs.
- Divide the mixture into two. You can do this by eye, but your layers will be more even if you weigh the mixture. Sift the cocoa powder into one half of the mixture and fold in.
- Divide the cocoa batter between two of the tins, and the vanilla batter between the other two.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for around 20 minutes, or until the cakes are risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- While they are cooling, make your buttercream. Cream the butter until very pale. This will take about 3 or 4 minutes with an electric beater. Sift in the icing sugar and beat to combine. Reserve around 2 tablespoons of the buttercream and 2-3 tablespoons of the crushed Oreos. Stir together the remaining Oreos and buttercream.
- Once the cakes are cool you can start to build the cake. Layer up your cakes, alternating vanilla and chocolate, filling with buttercream as you go. Cover the cake with the remaining buttercream. While it's still freshly, use the flat of your hand to press the reserved crushed Oreos around the base of the cake. Put into the cake to chill for at least one hour.
- While it cools, make your ganache. Finely chop your dark chocolate and put into a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream on a low heat, stirring occasionally, until its just below boiling point. Leave it about 30 seconds, then pour over the chopped chocolate. Stir until all the chocolate has melted. Leave to cool for about 15 minutes, until it is a thick but pourable constancy. Transfer into a squeezy dressing bottle and carefully drizzle around the edge of your cake. Once you have all your drips, fill in the top of the cake with the remaining ganache. Return the cake to the fridge to chill for about half an hour.
- Finally, pipe your reserved buttercream onto the cake in evenly spaced rosettes and top with Oreos.