I am SO tired. I don’t think I have been this tired since I had a newborn baby who was somehow allergic to sleep (for 13 months). I had kind of forgotten just how useless I am at functioning without sleep and let’s just say it was a very rude awakening with little chance of respite. The reason behind my newly zombified state is black, tan and white with the cutest ears ever. I have slept so very little and walked so much more since adopting Brutus, our Jura hound pup, last week. I have become acquainted with 5am (they have those in the morning too?) wake up calls and walking in the rain before I have even had my first cup of coffee.
Taking several long walks every day, combined the lack of sleep, have made me desperate for comfort food and a more than a little ravenous for chocolate. All I could think yesterday was ‘I need some chocolate cake‘ and I ended up making said cake on autopilot – the mere actions of measuring the ingredients and greasing the tin were so familiar and soothing in themselves, I felt much better afterwards. I somehow got it into my head to make a cookies and cream cake mostly because I had some Oreos which I originally got to make a cheesecake and then never got round to. I put some in the batter and on top of the cake, and for the filling I finally used up some bars of white chocolate that had been left forgotten.
Well the cake was delicious – the kids declared it THE BEST EVER but they are prone to hyperbole when there’s chocolate involved. The cake assembly was a bit of a mess however… I have to admit that. Tiredness and precision do not mix and I kind of butchered the poor sponge when cutting it in three pieces. In the recipe method I suggest you use three small cake tins to avoid this issue, and if you want have perfectly even layers, follow the trick from this cake. The recipe is easily doubled if you want to bake a 4 layer 20cm (8in) cake. I hope you forgive the inadvertently rustic look and if you make this cake I am sure you will do a much better job! Just, you know, have some sleep first.
Serves 8-10 | Makes 3x15cm (6inch) layers
Double the recipe to make 4x20cm (8in) layers
For the cake
165g | 5.8oz plain (all purpose) flour
165g | 5.8oz light brown sugar (can also use caster)
5 Oreo cookies, ground to a powder
1 level tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
100g | 3.5oz cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 large eggs
100ml | 3.5 fl oz whole milk
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
60g | 2oz dark chocolate chips
a little butter and flour to grease the cake tins
200g | 7oz good quality white chocolate, very finely chopped
150g | 5.3oz double cream
an extra cold 200g | 7oz double cream
Chocolate glaze & to decorate
100g | 3.5oz dark chocolate, very finely chopped
100g | 3.5oz double cream
1 tbsp golden syrup
handful Oreo cookies, halved
2. Add the flour, sugar, crushed Oreos, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse briefly to mix the ingredients together, then add the cubed butter and pulse again until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and pulse again until mixed in. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula to make sure everything is well blended.
4. Mix the vanilla and milk and then gradually add to the batter, pulsing until it is smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips, divide the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. The cakes are ready when springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly and then gently turn the cakes out of the tins. Cool completely before filling.
7. Put the chopped white chocolate in a bowl and set aside. Heat 150ml (5.3oz) double cream in a small saucepan until tiny bubbles appear around the edge – do not allow it to boil. Pour over the chocolate and leave to stand for a minute. Using a balloon whisk, slowly stir, starting from the centre of the bowl using small motions until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool – if the chocolate is too warm it will not whip easily. But don’t let it set completely if chilling in the fridge, keep stirring.
8. Pour a little of the (remaining) double cream into the melted chocolate and stir together (this is to make sure it is cold enough). Start whipping the rest of the double cream in a stand mixer and gradually add the melted chocolate. Whip at high speed until you have peaks – do not mix for too long or the filling will become grainy.
9. Sandwich your cake layers with a generous amount of the filling – either smoothing it on with a palette knife, or piping it for neater results. If you like, you can also drizzle the layers with some of the chocolate glaze as well.
10. Heat the double cream and golden syrup in a small saucepan until tiny bubbles appear around the edge. Pour over the chopped dark chocolate, leave to stand for a minute, and use a balloon whisk to slowly stir the chocolate/cream mixture until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Leave it to cool slightly.
11. Carefully pour the chocolate glaze over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Decorate with the chopped Oreos.
NOTE: You can make the cake in a stand mixer following the same method.