This cake makes us happy. So festive and fun – perfect for any sort of celebration. Whether a birthday, anniversary, or I-just-want-to-celebrate occasion, it’s sure to bring delight. Created by one of our favorite chefs, Jamie Oliver, it adds a touch of fun and creativity to any celebration. Be sure to get a copy of his new book so you can create additional delights.
For the sponge:
- 250 g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 150 g quality dark chocolate (70%)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 300 g caster sugar
- 6 large free-range eggs
- 150 g self-raising flour
- 4 tablespoons quality cocoa powder
For the chocolate rice layer:
- 300 g quality dark chocolate (70%), plus extra to serve
- 1 large knob of butter
- 1 splash of double cream
- 100 g puffed rice cereal
For the nougat frosting:
- 2 large free-range egg whites
- 3 tablespoons runny honey
- 200 g caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon orange blossom , or rose water, or natural pink food colouring (all optional)
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Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Grease a deep 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin and line the base and sides with a double layer of greaseproof paper. For the sponge, smash up the chocolate and melt in a large heatproof bowl with the butter, oil and sugar over a pan of gently simmering water until smooth and glossy. Remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then, using an electric hand whisk at high speed, one-by-one beat in the eggs until combined. Sift in the flour and cocoa with a good pinch of sea salt and beat for a short while until just combined. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for around 50 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out ever so slightly gooey (the top of the cake will rise up and crack slightly, but don’t worry, it’ll end up covered by all your lovely toppings). Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Place on a cake stand, use a long knife to carefully slice the sponge into 3 equal rounds and remove the top two sponges to separate plates (scroll down to watch the how-to video below).
For your mega-crispy chocolatey rice layer, smash up the chocolate and melt with the butter and cream in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water until smooth and glossy. Leave to cool for 5 minutes (to avoid soggy cereal!), then stir in the puffed rice until evenly coated. Divide the mixture onto the 3 cooled sponge layers and spread out evenly across the tops, going right to the edges.
To make the nougat frosting, place the egg whites in a heatproof bowl with the honey, sugar, cream of tartar, a good pinch of salt and a splash of water. Place over a pan of gently simmering water, turn up the heat and, with an electric hand whisk, beat for 6 to 7 minutes or until it starts to form peaks. Remove the bowl from the heat, add the vanilla extract, orange blossom or rose water and a dot of food colouring (if using), then carry on beating the mixture until thick. Leave to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then evenly top each sponge and stack them up nicely. To finish the cake off, use a large knife to shave some extra chocolate, then sprinkle it over the top (scroll down for a video to show you how to do this). Add your candles or sparklers, get them lit and indulge in chocolate celebration cake heaven.
Image and recipe credit: Jamie Oliver