Elegant and Irresistible: Mary Berry Chocolate Cake Recipe

There’s something truly magical about combining the rich indulgence of chocolate cake with the light, airy texture of a Victoria sponge. This recipe for Mary Berry’s chocolate cake offers just that—a delightful treat that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, hosting a tea party, or simply indulging in a weekend baking spree, this cake is sure to impress. Inspired by Mary Berry’s straightforward approach, I’ve added my own twist to the quantities to make a slightly larger, more decadent version.

How To Make Mary Berry’s Chocolate Cake Recipe Overview

This chocolate cake recipe is designed to be simple yet delicious, capturing the essence of a classic Victoria sponge with the added richness of chocolate. The process involves baking two chocolate sponge cakes, then layering them with sweet apricot jam and lush whipped cream. The entire preparation and cooking time will take approximately an hour, with about 20-25 minutes for preparation and 30-35 minutes for baking. This recipe yields a cake that comfortably serves 12 people, making it ideal for gatherings. The resulting cake is not only a visual treat but also a delightful mix of textures and flavors.

Ingredients for Mary’s Chocolate Delight

Cake Batter:

  • Butter: 250g (9oz), unsalted and softened (keep a bit more on hand for greasing the pans)
  • Flour: 250g (9oz) self-raising, sifted for lightness
  • Eggs: 5 large, free-range, bringing that farm-fresh quality
  • Sugar: 250g (9oz) of fine caster sugar for a smooth sweetness
  • Cocoa Powder: 55g (2oz), rich and dark
  • Baking Powder: 1¼ teaspoons, for that perfect rise

Luscious Filling:

  • Whipped Cream: 350ml (12fl oz), whipped to soft peaks for a silky texture
  • Apricot Jam: 5 tablespoons, smooth and sweetly tart

Instructions

  1. Preheat and Prepare: Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Grease two 20cm (8in) round cake tins and line them with parchment paper.
  2. Make the Cake Batter: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  3. Combine Dry Ingredients: Sift the self-raising flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder together and gradually add to the creamed mixture, folding gently until the batter is smooth and well combined.
  4. Bake: Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins, smoothing the tops with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Once baked, remove from the oven and let cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Assemble the Cake: Once the cakes are completely cool, spread the apricot jam over the top of one cake layer. Spread the whipped cream over the jam and then carefully place the second cake layer on top. Dust with extra caster sugar if desired.

Nutritional Value

Per serving, the cake approximately contains:

Calories: 450 kcal

Protein: 5g

Carbohydrates: 50g

Fat: 26g

Saturated Fat: 16g

Cholesterol: 140mg

Sodium: 260mg

Fiber: 2g

Sugar: 30g

Also Try:
Mary Berry Red Velvet Cake Recipe
Mary Berry Lemon Biscuits

Recipe Tips

Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure your butter, eggs, and cream are at room temperature before starting. This helps the ingredients mix more evenly, creating a smoother batter and a lighter cake.

Proper Creaming: Spend adequate time creaming the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and fluffy. This incorporates air into your batter, giving the cake a lighter texture.

Sift Dry Ingredients: Always sift the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder together. This not only helps to mix the ingredients uniformly but also aerates them, resulting in a finer crumb.

Even Baking: To prevent the cakes from doming and baking unevenly, wrap the outside of the cake tins with damp towel strips or use baking strips. This ensures the edges don’t cook faster than the center.

Cooling the Cakes: Allow the cakes to cool in their tins on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing them from the tins. This helps them set and reduces the risk of breaking.

Jam Consistency: If the jam is too thick, gently warm it before spreading, which makes it easier to spread evenly without tearing the sponge.

Whipping the Cream: When whipping the cream, ensure it reaches soft peaks. Over-whipped cream can become too stiff and buttery, which might not spread as smoothly.

Cake Assembly: When assembling the cake, place the bottom layer on your serving plate, spread with jam and cream, then top with the second layer. This method keeps your serving plate clean and makes transportation easier.

Decorating: For a clean presentation, you can place strips of parchment paper under the edges of the first cake layer on the serving plate. After assembling and decorating, pull out the strips to leave a clean plate.

Storing the Cake: If not serving immediately, store the cake in the refrigerator to keep the whipped cream stable. Remove it about 20 minutes before serving to let it come to a slight room temperature for the best flavor and texture.

FAQs

What can I use instead of caster sugar?

If caster sugar is unavailable, you can use granulated sugar; just be sure it’s well incorporated and dissolved during mixing to avoid a gritty texture. For a finer texture, pulse granulated sugar in a food processor for a few seconds.

Can I add coffee to the cake to enhance the chocolate flavor?

Yes, adding a teaspoon of instant coffee granules dissolved in a tablespoon of hot water to the cake batter can deepen the chocolate flavor without making the cake taste like coffee.

How do I ensure my cake layers rise evenly?

To ensure even rising, make sure your baking powder is fresh and evenly mixed into the flour. Also, be careful not to open the oven door while the cakes are baking, as the rush of cold air can cause them to deflate.

Can I decorate this cake with chocolate ganache instead of dusting with sugar?

Absolutely! A chocolate ganache can make the cake even more luxurious. To make a simple ganache, heat equal parts by weight of heavy cream and dark chocolate until the chocolate melts, mix until smooth, and pour over the cooled cake for a glossy finish.

Can I use a different type of jam?

Absolutely! While apricot jam is traditionally used for its balanced sweetness and tartness, feel free to experiment with other flavors. Raspberry, strawberry, or blackberry jam can provide a delicious twist and complement the chocolate beautifully. Each type of jam brings its unique taste and can personalize the cake to your preference.

Conclusion

Mary Berry’s chocolate cake is a wonderful blend of flavors and textures, perfectly combining the classic elements of a Victoria sponge with the richness of chocolate. This recipe is designed for ease and sure to yield a delicious, crowd-pleasing dessert. Enjoy the process and the delightful cake you’ll create!

Mary Berry's Chocolate Cake Recipe

Mary Berry’s Chocolate Cake Recipe

Prep Time 25 minutes
Baking Time 35 minutes
Course Cakes
Servings 12 people
Calories 450 kcal

Ingredients
  

Cake Batter:

  • Butter: 250g 9oz, unsalted and softened (keep a bit more on hand for greasing the pans)
  • Flour: 250g 9oz self-raising, sifted for lightness
  • Eggs: 5 large free-range, bringing that farm-fresh quality
  • Sugar: 250g 9oz of fine caster sugar for a smooth sweetness
  • Cocoa Powder: 55g 2oz, rich and dark
  • Baking Powder: 1¼ teaspoons for that perfect rise

Luscious Filling:

  • Whipped Cream: 350ml 12fl oz, whipped to soft peaks for a silky texture
  • Apricot Jam: 5 tablespoons smooth and sweetly tart

Instructions
 

  • Preheat and Prepare: Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Grease two 20cm (8in) round cake tins and line them with parchment paper.
  • Make the Cake Batter: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  • Combine Dry Ingredients: Sift the self-raising flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder together and gradually add to the creamed mixture, folding gently until the batter is smooth and well combined.
  • Bake: Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins, smoothing the tops with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Once baked, remove from the oven and let cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Assemble the Cake: Once the cakes are completely cool, spread the apricot jam over the top of one cake layer. Spread the whipped cream over the jam and then carefully place the second cake layer on top. Dust with extra caster sugar if desired.

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