At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Friday, 19 December 2014

The TRIPLE decker!!! :)

Ahem....yes, this was SUPPOSED to be that holly leaf sponge which I was crowing about making in my Christmas baking post. Well...I do have a good explanation for why I ended up rustling it these gi-normous cake concoction instead of my intended project.Yesterday it was raining so hard that even creeping outside to the little holly tree growing on the lane was an exertion which just required too much effort for the pyjama-wearing Ganache-Elf. Typical Irish Christmas...rain instead of snow. :p

I PROMISE I will get onto the holly-leaf sponge - or something slightly reminiscent of that - in good time!! But as is often the case with my unintended creations....was I banging myself on the head with my wooden spoon in frustration as I regarded my result? Certainly not. ;)

This is another take on my biscuit cake sponge (click HERE for the recipe ;) )....though there are a few changes and little differences. The most obvious one though has to be the size of this more recent creation of mine. It's a three layer MONSTER of a cake sandwiched together with lots of - wait for it - not ganache but a chocolatey, scrummy buttercream instead. Also, I sneaked a few chocolate digestives into the biscuit cake for even more naughty chocolatiness. ;)

For the fluffy chocolate sponge. :)
  • 225 g margarine/butter, softened
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 200 g self-raising flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1-3 tbsp full-fat milk
For the biscuit cake. :)

  • 150 g digestive biscuits
  • 75 g milk chocolate digestive biscuits
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 150 g plain chocolate, chopped
  • 150 g butter/margarine, cubed
  • 25 g maltesers
For the creamy chocolate buttercream :)
  • 150 g butter, cubed
  • 350 g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2-4 tbsp single cream/milk
Method :)

  1. Make the sponge first: preheat the oven to 180 c/fan oven 160 c. Grease two 20 cm sandwich tins and line the bases with baking paper.
  2. measure the butter/margarine into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until very soft.
  3. Add the eggs, the caster sugar, the flour, the baking powder to the softened butter and then sieve in the cocoa. Mix well with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes; before pausing the mixer and scaping down the sides of the bowl with a large metal spoon. Resume mixing for another minute until smooth and well-blended.  
  4. Spoon up some of the batter and let it fall back into the bowl to check it is of a nice, soft, dropping consistency. Add 1 - 3 tbsp of milk, a tbsp at a time, if it seems a little on the thick side. 
  5. Divide the batter equally amongst the two tins and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
  6. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes in the preheated oven until the sponges are well-risen and spring back beneath the fingertip when pressed gently on the top. If an indent is left when you do this, bake for a few minutes more before testing again.
  7. Leave in the tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack, peeling off the paper and leaving to cool.

  1. Next make the biscuit cake: take one of the very same cake tin that you used for your sponge and line this well with cling film. Crush the digestives  in a freezer bag with a rolling pin.
  2. Put the plain chocolate, the butter, and the golden syrup into a large saucepan, using a heated spoon to measure out the syrup as this makes it easier to handle.
  3. Melt the contents of the pan over a very gentle heat, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth, and then remove from the heat.
  4. Cool a little before stirring in the biscuit crumbs, and then mix in the maltesers. Transfer to the prepared tin and refrigerate until set.

  1. Now it's time to assemble your gorgeous cake. :) Place one of the cooled sponges on a plate. 
  2. Make the chocolate buttercream by beating the 150 g butter with a wooden spoon or electirc mixer. Then sift in the icing sugar and the cocoa powder. Add the tablespoons of cream as required and continue to beat until you have a nice spreadable icing.
  3. Spread a little buttercream over the top of the sponge on the plate. Remove the biscuit cake from the tin, and then place it on top of the sponge.
  4. Cover the top of the biscuit cake with another layer of buttercream, and then place the other sponge on top of it.
  5. And then more layer of buttercream!! :) And use any reserve buttercream to decorate your cake: As you can see from the pic, I piped little swirls on the top of my cake using an icing bag fitted with a fluted nozzle, and also piped around the edges and sides. :)


  1. Hi hi! Wow that caking really looks amazing!! I am always trying to find excuses to make a big cake, but there are barely never any as my family doesn't really eat much cake usually just me and my brother ;) so making a big one it normally ends up I. The bin well jus the emount I don't manage to eat ;)
    That one does look like one I realllllyyy want to give a go!! Is a holly leaf cake a tradional Irish cake for Christmas?
    I made a gingerbread house (which is up on my blog now if you would like the recipe) which is a tradition that we do every christmas

  2. Aww sorry I acciendently pressed publish so I didn't get the chance to say I hope you are well and have a very merry happy Christmas
    Lots of love Livvy :)

    1. Hey Livvy! <3 Happy Christmas to you too hun!! thank you so much for your lovely comment <3 Why don't you try halving the sponge recipe and then cutting the biscuit cake in half, if you are worried about there being too much leftover ? ;) or just make the whole thing and give away pieces to family and friends - that's what I usually do. :)
      Heehee, not really hun! In Ireland, Christmas cake, Yule log, trifle, mince pies and christmas pudding are all very traditional at this time of year. The holly leaf cake is an invention of my own hun ;) I will share it with you soon! Oh my goodness I most certainly will check out your cake Livvy <3 I hope you have a fabulous Christmas too Livvy <3 lots of love and special festive well wishes hun! <3 xxxx

  3. Hello again!, yes that does sound like a great idea!! I have tries doing that once before but the layers turn out very thin ;) but I suoppose I could do it as one and have the biscuit and a base kinda like a cheesecake :) but I would love to try the recipe out!!
    Hahaha oops, I was just wondering as Holly is a very traditional decoration in nz so maybe it was haha!!! But it still sound oh so interesting all the same :)
    Merry christmas and lots of love
    Livvy xoxox!!
    Stay strong Sweety!! :)

    1. Hi Livvy <3 yes definitely Livvy I think that would be so cool!! I usually make one sponge and then cut it and the bisuit cake in half - but I think your idea sounds much better ;)
      ooh yes Livvy, we use holly alot for decorating too, heehee!! But my "Holly Leaf Sponge " is just a chocolate cake decorated with chocolate holly leaves hun - the chocolate leaves look amazing, but if you are careful then they aren't actually too tricky to do. Happy Christmas Livvy, thank you so much for all your support!! :) xxx