For the White Chocolate Sponge Cakes
- 180 g Butter/ baking margarine room temperature
- 180 g Golden caster sugar
- 180 g Plain flour all purpose
- 1½ teaspoon Baking powder
- 3 Eggs large, free range
- 3 tablespoon Milk room temperature
- 1½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 150 g White chocolate
For the Chocolate Ganache
- 60 g Milk chocolate
- 20 g Dark chocolate
- 30 ml Baileys Irish Cream
- 30 ml Double cream (heavy cream)
For the While Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting
- 200 g Mascarpone
- 160 g White chocolate
- 100 ml Double cream
- 75 ml Baileys Irish Cream
Make the White Chocolate Cakes
- Preheat the oven 170°/ 325°F/ GM3
- Grease and line 3 x 6-inch circular baking tins (note these are smaller than average tins – if you are using 8-inch tins see my notes on how to scale up the recipe)½
- In a bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, using electric beaters. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition
- Add 3 tablespoon of milk & the vanilla extract and beat again. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and mix well
- Melt the white chocolate and let cool for 3 minutes. Next, take a tablespoon of the cake batter and stir it quickly into the melted white chocolate.
- Gently fold this white chocolate mixture back into the bowl containing the rest of the cake batter. This double-action will stop the chocolate from seizing when it is mixed into the cake batter.
- Divide the batter equally between the 3 cake tins and bake for approx 20 minutes until golden and cooked through (test by pushing a cocktail stick into the centre – it should come out clean).
- Once cooked, let rest in the tins for 2 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely
Make the Ganache and Frosting
- Make the white chocolate ganache by heating the Baileys and cream to scalding (do not let it boil) and pouring it over the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Let sit for 1 minute to allow the chocolate to melt, then stir until smooth. Transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes to cool and thicken slightly
- Make the chocolate ganache in exactly the same way. Leave to cool at room temperature
- Once the white chocolate ganache has thickened slightly, beat in the mascarpone using electric beaters. Take care not to overbeat as mascarpone can soon split. Give a 10 second beat, scrape down the bowl with a spatula and whisk again for another 10 seconds. Repeat once more if necessary. The frosting is ready – it should be a good consistency to cover the cake, but if it needs to firm up, just pop it into the fridge for a few minutes
Assemble the Cake
- Lay one layer of cake onto a worksurface and spoon half of the chocolate ganache into the centre, then spread it out, leaving a 1cm border around the cake
- Pipe a circle of white chocolate frosting around the edge of the ganache
- Spread 1 rounded tablespoon of frosting onto the next layer of cake and place it on top of the first layer, so the frosting sits on top of the chocolate ganache
- Repeat the above: spoon the remaining ganache onto the cake & spread it out, pipe frosting around the edge of the ganache and spread another rounded tablespoon of frosting onto the bottom of the final layer of cake and place on top of the stack
- Use the remaining frosting to cover the cake (naked style) and add a generous amount of frosting to the top. It does not need to be smooth. Decorate as desired – chocolates and gold-dusted chocolate leaves look superb.
Instructions for 8.5 inch pans
This recipe uses 3 x 6 inch circular cake tins. If you wish to use standard 8.5 inch tins, my suggestion is to simply double the recipe. In an ideal world, you would scale up the recipe to bake it using 5 eggs, but that leads to some fiddly measurements. Making double is far easier – just ensure you do not fill your sandwich tins more than ⅔ full with the batter and use the leftover batter to make a few cupcakes. You perhaps will not need to double the frosting though – I’d suggest making 1.5 times that stated in the recipe.
Tips for Successfully incorporating Melted Chocolate into the Cake Batter
- Use ingredients at room temperature for the cake batter – so pull the butter, milk and eggs out of the fridge well in advance to allow them to acclimatise
- When melting the chocolate, stop heating when a few lumps still remain. Just keep stirring until those lumps disappear. This will reduce the risk of the chocolate being too hot. Once melted, I usually let my chocolate sit for 3-5 minutes before combining with the cake batter
- And finally, when ready to mix, remember to stir 1 tablespoon of cake batter briskly into the melted chocolate. Again, this helps to reduce the differences in temperature between the 2 elements. Then just add the white chocolate mix into the cake batter and fold through (or beat very briefly when an electric whisk if it still looks like seizing).