Old-school slab cake with milk chocolate ganache and Easter eggs

A simple chocolate cake slab dressed-up with ganache and Easter eggs.
A simple chocolate cake slab dressed-up with ganache and Easter eggs. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Difficulty
Easy
Dietary
Kid-friendly

A couple of tips: 1. Don't overwork the batter - the thinner level of cake means you have nowhere to hide, despite the simplicity. 2. Don't waste your money on coverture chocolate for the ganache unless you are very confident. The slightest overheating or touch of steam and your ganache will become grainy and useless. Decent quality cooking chocolate is far more forgiving and will still give excellent results.

Ingredients

Cake

350g cake flour

355g caster sugar

½ tbsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt 

225g unsalted butter

55g cocoa powder

1¼ cups tepid water

60ml espresso, cooled

115ml buttermilk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Milk chocolate ganache

150ml thickened cream

400g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

To top

assorted Easter eggs, chopped

choc bits, to scatter

freeze-dried raspberries

edible flowers, to scatter

Method

1. Grease and line a sheet pan or roulade tin (about 33cm x 22cm; something with higher sides to contain the batter) and preheat oven to 165C fan-forced (185C conventional).

2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

3. To a saucepan, add the butter, cocoa powder, coffee and water, and place over low heat. Whisk until the butter has melted and the mixture appears smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool.

4. Fold the cocoa mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined, being careful not to overwork the batter. Add the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and whisk again until just combined.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake until cake has risen and appears to have come away from the edges slightly. Touch in the centre and the cake should spring back to the touch. This can take anywhere between 20 and 35 minutes, depending on your oven.

6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. 

7. To make the ganache, add the cream to a saucepan and place over low heat. Place the chocolate pieces in a bowl. Warm the cream, stirring often to prevent catching, until it is bubbling around the edges but is not boiling. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir vigorously using a spoon. Set aside for 10 minutes to thicken.

8. Spread the ganache across the cake and scatter with Easter eggs, chocolate chips, freeze-dried fruit and flowers.

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