Elizabeth Sponge

Put a decadent twist on the Victoria sponge with this chocolate version.
  • For the chocolate sponge
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g softened butter
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder dissolved in 4 tbsp hot water
  • 1 tbsp Maple syrup
  • For the dark chocolate peppermint cream filling
  • 55-65g peppermint Matchmakers
  • 55g 85% dark cocoa solids
  • 100ml double cream
  • 15g butter
  • 1 egg white, whisked until stiff peaks
  • For the ganache
  • 200g plain Belgian chocolate
  • 175ml double cream
  • 30g softened butter
  • 6-8 Glacier mints, crushed roughly

Lightly oil two 23cm (9”) sandwich tins and line the bases with circles of baking parchment.

Cream butter and sugar until well combined, light and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, continuing to combine.

In a separate bowl sift together the flour and baking powder then fold in to the butter, sugar and egg mixture. Stir in dissolved cocoa and maple syrup, and mix thoroughly.

Divide mixture between the two sandwich tins, place the tins in the centre of a pre-heated oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes. The sponge is baked through when well risen and firm to touch. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then carefully turn out on to wire racks, remove baking parchment and allow to cool thoroughly.

Whilst the cakes are cooling, warm the cream, chocolate and Matchmakers in a saucepan over a low heat for the peppermint cream filling. Once all the ingredients have melted together, remove the mixture from heat and beat in the butter. Fold in the whisked egg whites and leave to cool and set.

For the ganache, melt the chocolate and cream in a saucepan over a low heat, until the two ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Remove the mixture from the heat, beating in the butter until it has a thick, glossy consistency. Set aside to cool.

To construct the cake, spread the peppermint filling on to one side of the cooled sponge and sandwich the second sponge cake on top. Liberally spread the ganache over the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving. Sprinkle the crushed mints over the top just before serving for a diamond-like sparkle.

Recipe courtesy of Neff.

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