Chocolate crackle cake

For a truly beautiful showstopping bake, try this decadent chocolate cake. Three layers of light chocolate sponge sandwiched with a salted caramel buttercream and topped with spectacular homemade honeycomb. Perfect for serving at a special occasion – a small slice is all you need!

Prep time: 75 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Servings: 16 people

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line 3 x 20cm cake tins. Put the cocoa in a bowl and add 200ml (1/3pt) boiling water, stir until smooth.

2. Beat the eggs with the vanilla and 90ml (3fl oz) of water, until combined, then set aside. In a separate bowl, sieve the flour with the baking powder and sugar. Add the cocoa powder, oil and butter. 3. Beat for 1 minute using an electric whisk. Gradually add the egg mixture, whisking well after each addition.

3. Divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in their tins for 10 mins then transfer to a cooling rack.

4. For the honeycomb, lightly grease a 20cm (8in) square tin with butter. Pour the sugar and syrup into a large saucepan, and place over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has melted. Increase the heat a little, so the mixture bubbles and turns a light amber colour.

5. Remove from the heat and immediately stir through the bicarbonate of soda. The mixture will foam, but keep mixing until it’s all combined, then pour into your greased tin. Leave to set for 1 1/2 hours, or until hard. Snap into large shards.

6. To make the salted caramel buttercream, use an electric hand whisk, or food mixer, to cream the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add the salted caramel sauce and beat until just combined. Using a palette knife, spread a little buttercream over the first sponge. Top with the next layer of sponge. Repeat once more. Use the remaining icing to cover the top and sides of the cake.

7. Spoon the caramel sauce over the centre of the cake and spread out gently, until it drizzles down the sides. Garnish with the honeycomb shards poking them into the icing and sponge. Top with the chocolate truffles, Maltesers and any honeycomb crumbs.

Ingredients

For the honeycomb

For the salted buttercream

To decorate

  • 100g salted caramel sauce
  • 1 x 140g box salted caramel truffles
  • 1 x 37g bag Maltesers

Shop ingredients

Ingredients

For the honeycomb

For the salted buttercream

To decorate

  • 100g salted caramel sauce
  • 1 x 140g box salted caramel truffles
  • 1 x 37g bag Maltesers

Shop ingredients Shop ingredients

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line 3 x 20cm cake tins. Put the cocoa in a bowl and add 200ml (1/3pt) boiling water, stir until smooth.

2. Beat the eggs with the vanilla and 90ml (3fl oz) of water, until combined, then set aside. In a separate bowl, sieve the flour with the baking powder and sugar. Add the cocoa powder, oil and butter. 3. Beat for 1 minute using an electric whisk. Gradually add the egg mixture, whisking well after each addition.

3. Divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in their tins for 10 mins then transfer to a cooling rack.

4. For the honeycomb, lightly grease a 20cm (8in) square tin with butter. Pour the sugar and syrup into a large saucepan, and place over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has melted. Increase the heat a little, so the mixture bubbles and turns a light amber colour.

5. Remove from the heat and immediately stir through the bicarbonate of soda. The mixture will foam, but keep mixing until it’s all combined, then pour into your greased tin. Leave to set for 1 1/2 hours, or until hard. Snap into large shards.

6. To make the salted caramel buttercream, use an electric hand whisk, or food mixer, to cream the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add the salted caramel sauce and beat until just combined. Using a palette knife, spread a little buttercream over the first sponge. Top with the next layer of sponge. Repeat once more. Use the remaining icing to cover the top and sides of the cake.

7. Spoon the caramel sauce over the centre of the cake and spread out gently, until it drizzles down the sides. Garnish with the honeycomb shards poking them into the icing and sponge. Top with the chocolate truffles, Maltesers and any honeycomb crumbs.