Celebrate Easter with this festive chocolate "egg" cake!
350 g (121/2 oz/21/3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
450 g (1 lb) caster (superfine) sugar
100 g (31/2 oz) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 teaspoon fine salt
350 g (121/2 oz) unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, at room temperature
350 ml (12 fl oz) full-cream (whole) milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp boiling water
1 ½ cups small speckled eggs
1 cup chocolate sauce
100g dark chocolate, melted
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1kg white chocolate
5 drops pink chocolate food gel
5 drops yellow chocolate food gel
5 drops purple chocolate food gel
400g teal candy melts, melted
Crumb Coat Frosting
2 batches chocolate-flavored Swiss meringue buttercream frosting
1 batch vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream frosting
10 drops teal food gel
To make these eggs you’ll need three sizes of egg molds. I bought mine online. Get small egg molds, egg molds that are the size of real eggs and then one large egg mold.
Let’s begin by making the dark chocolate splatter. Add the oil to the melted dark chocolate and mix until very well combined. Use a fork to splatter your egg molds with the dark chocolate. Place them in the fridge to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes while you melt your white chocolate and teal candy melts.
To prepare the different coloured chocolates split the white chocolate amongst three mixing bowls. Colour one yellow, one pink and the third purple using food gels listed in the ingredients list. The food gel we’re using to colour the chocolate is specifically designed for chocolate. Liquid food dye or regular food gel will not work for this recipe. It will cause the white chocolate to seize.
Place the different coloured chocolate in a separate piping bag. Pipe the different chocolates into the small egg mold and give the mold a gentle tap on your work bench to help the chocolate settle. Chill for 40 minutes. Fill the medium and large egg mould with the chocolate too, gently tap and turn over onto a baking tray to let excess chocolate drip out of the mold. Scrape the top of the egg moulds to get rid of any excess chocolate on top of the mould and chill in the fridge for 40 minutes to set.
Once the small eggs have set gently tap the egg mould on your work bench. The eggs will pop out really easy. Add a small amount of melted chocolate on one half of the eggs and sandwich with another egg half. To finish the medium hollow eggs and the large hollow egg add a ring of melted chocolate around the top of one half of the eggs and then sandwich with another egg half. Run your finger around the edge of the egg seam to get rid of the excess chocolate. Let the eggs sit in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.
You’re going to need about 8 small eggs in each of the four colours, 8 of the medium eggs in each colour and just one of the large eggs
Please note: to make the six-layered cake in this recipe you’ll need to double the cake mixture. Two batches of the Swiss meringue frosting will be enough to cover this six-layered cake.
Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160°C (320°F) or a conventional oven to 180°C (350°F). Spray three 20 cm (8 in) cake tins with oil spray and line the bottoms with baking paper. Set aside.
Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
Next, add the softened butter and mix on low speed until the batter reaches a crumbly, sand-like texture.
Add the eggs and milk and mix again on low speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds. It’s at this point that you can add any additional flavourings or food-gel colourings to the batter.
Divide the cake mixture between the three tins. I find that using an ice-cream scoop makes it easy to distribute the batter evenly, ensuring that all three cakes will bake at the same rate.
Bake for 50–60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle a cake comes out clean. If the toothpick is coated with wet batter, continue baking, for 10 minutes at a time, until fully baked.
Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature in the tins, then chill them in the fridge overnight. Chilling your cakes overnight makes them easier to trim and decorate, so I always bake my cakes the day before I decorate them.
To trim your chilled cakes, use a cake leveler or large serrated knife to carefully trim the crust off the top of each cake before you trim each cake in half. You’ll end up with 6 layers of cake.
To crumb coat your cake, add a dab of frosting onto an 8” cake board or flat serving plate. Use a small offset spatula to spread the frosting around before adding the first cake layer. Gently press down the centre of the cake layer to make sure it’s stuck to the frosting underneath.
Add the chocolate frosting to a piping bag and frost a ring around the top of the cake. Fill the centre with more frosting. Use your small offset spatula to smoothen out the frosting before you add some speckled eggs. Add the next layer of cake and repeat with the remaining layers.
Add more frosting around and top and sides of the cake. Use the small spatula to smoothen out the top and sides of the cake, taking care to fill in any gaps in between each layer of cake.
Use a cake scraper (otherwise known as a bench scraper) to smoothen out the frosting on the sides and top. Get it as neat as you can. This should just be a neat, thin layer of frosting which is aimed at trapping any cake crumbs so that random bits of cake crumbs don’t show up on the final layer of frosting. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
To prepare the teal frosting add the teal food gel to the vanilla frosting and mix until well combined.
Add to a piping bag and frost a layer of teal frosting around the outside and top of the cake. Use a small offset spatula to smoothen out the top. It doesn’t need to be perfect because we’re coming back to it. Go around the cake with a cake scraper to smoothen out the sides and do the same on the top.
To make the chocolate paint add the cocoa powder and boiling water in a small mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
Use a fork to splatter the cake with the chocolate paint. Pop the cake in the fridge to chill for 1 hour before you drizzle it with chocolate sauce.
To finish, add some teal frosting on top of the cake to help you stick your eggs on top.