Tag: Covid-19

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake


My love for chocolate started from when I was little. My grandmother owned a cocoa farm and would often regale me with tales of her fight against the pests that attack cocoa trees and the many organic ways in which she tried to prevent such attacks. She loved pitting her wits against these unseen agents, determined to get the maximum harvest from her farm. The odd thing was growing cocoa pods was actually not that profitable. She just liked the idea of besting those pests, hopeful of harvesting a good crop.

Chocolate comes from the seeds of the cocoa pod which grows on the cacao tree. These seeds have a bitter taste and must first be fermented in order for flavour to develop. After fermentation,  the beans are dried, cleaned and then roasted. The shell of the cacao bean is then removed to produce cocoa nibs which are ground and this is pure chocolate in a rough form. This cocoa mass is usually in a liquid form (chocolate liquor) which is then mixed with other components to form commercial chocolate. The liquor may also be processed into its two component forms, namely cocoa solids and cocoa butter.

Of all our luxury wedding cake flavours, our ultimate chocolate cake is one of the most requested.


The Ultimate Chocolate Cake Recipe

This moist cake has a rich flavour and light texture and it’s been the perfect foundation for over 20 of our flavoured chocolate cakes. It is delicious when paired with gorgeous ganache, rich pastes, buttercream, curds and purees.


 There is enough for at least one 20cm or an 8 inch round cake

  • 140 ml water
  • 200g Carma Swiss dark chocolate (about 60% cocoa solids)
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 130g dark brown sugar
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 40g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 200g self raising flour, extra fine sponge flour or cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 70ml whole milk
  • I teaspoon instant coffee granules


Assemble ALL the ingredients making sure that the eggs, milk and butter are at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 160C (Gas mark 3) on a conventional oven or 150C on a fan assisted oven. Line the inside of your cake tin with greaseproof paper as shown.

Pour the 200ml of water into a bowl and stir in the coffee granules. Add the butter and chocolate pieces. Microwave for about 4 to 6 minutes on medium power. Half way through, give the mixture a good stir.  Keep an eye on the microwave as you do not want the liquid to boil.

Next add the dry ingredients into the bowl of the mixer. Mix thoroughly using your hands to get rid of any lumps that may have formed, especially with brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and milk together lightly. Using the paddle attachment, set the mixer to the slowest speed and add the cooled chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients. Next add the egg mixture slowly and once thoroughly combined pour the batter into the prepared cake tin.

Bake at 160C for  at least 1 hour 30 minutes. The cake is done when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin and wrap in several layers of cling film and store in a cool, dry refrigerator.


Add the zest of one orange and 2 teaspoons of very good quality orange extract for a delicious chocolate orange cake.



We are now on week 5 of lockdown in the UK. There has been lots of baking activity going on in many households. Baking is a way of bonding, sharing an activity and at the end of it, if you follow directions correctly and all goes well, you may be rewarded with a delicious bake.

However, in recent weeks I’ve had a few calls from a number of people about baking disasters, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite recipes and a few tips with you from my book Opulencia – Artisan Baking and Sugarcraft 

Good luck and do let me know how it goes by emailing me at info@elizabethscakeemporium.com


The foundation for any cake design is a tried and tested cake recipe, paired with delicious fillings that not only taste amazing, but also hold up to the rigours of decoration and stacking. Having experienced many a baking disaster in my time; through trial and error, I discovered some of the secrets to good, consistent bakes.


  • Baking tins of the right material, shape and depth
  • Free standing electric mixer
  • Wooden spoon
  • Large metal folding spoon
  • Assorted bowls, including several large mixing bowls
  • Weighing scales
  • Measuring jugs
  • Greaseproof paper or baking parchment
  • Cooling rack
  • Scissors
  • Oven gloves
  • Some twine

Select your chosen recipe and read through it at least three times, visualising all the ingredients and the method in each step. At this point, turn your oven on to the stated temperature, making sure that your oven has been properly calibrated and the temperature readings are accurate.

Next, assemble all the ingredients, checking to make sure everything is laid out. It is extremely important that the eggs, butter and milk specifically are at room temperature, to aid mixing and prevent curdling.


Victoria Sponge

Named in honour of Queen Victoria, this quintessentially English cake is based on a recipe that has worked for generations. The secret to the success of this recipe is to first source the freshest ingredients, and then equate the weight of sugar, fat and flour to the weight of the eggs, ensuring all the ingredients are at room temperature.


This recipe will be enough to fill a 20cm or 8 inch cake tin.

  • 5 large eggs — weighed without their shells
  • Butter — same weight as the eggs
  • Caster sugar — same weight as the eggs
  • Extra fine sponge flour or cake flour (sifted) — same weight as the eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • The seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste


Assemble all the ingredients, making sure the eggs, milk and butter are at room temperature.

Pre heat your oven to 170C (Gas mark 3) on a conventional oven or 160C on a fan assisted oven. Line your cake tin with greaseproof paper and set aside.

Place all the ingredients in the electric mixer bowl and mix on medium speed until combined. Be careful not to over mix. The consistency of the batter should be such that it falls off the spoon readily, i.e. a soft dropping consistency.

Spoon the mixture into the baking tin, level and place on the middle shelf in the oven. Check after an hour. The cake is ready if a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean and if the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the middle.

Cover the cake with a clean kitchen towel and leave to cool in the tin. Once completely cooled, wrap the cake in cling film and store in a cool dry place to let the crumbs settle.

Serve the cake with jam and buttercream or if you are feeling extravagant, whipped cream, jam and fresh strawberries.


Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

These are very unusual times. The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) has been sweeping the world, since it’s emergence a few months ago.

At Elizabeth‘s Cake Emporium, we believe that our health and the health and well being of our clients is of utmost importance, and understandably a number of events have been sensibly postponed. We do not advocate cancellation at this point for the reason that when all this is over, we all need something lovely to look forward to and what better than a special celebration! We are also offering a cake delivery service, subject to a minimum order, with consultations held via the telephone or online.

In the meantime, we have compiled a list of the best online resources available to our clients and industry colleagues with the hope that we are in some small way contributing to their mental, emotional and physical well being.

The list is by no means comprehensive but it’s a start. I hope you find this helpful.

If you have any more resources we should be aware of, kindly email it to me at info@elizabethscakeemporium.com

Please keep safe and stay healthy!