Our friends Kate and Iain had their 10th wedding anniversary last month and to celebrate the occasion, Kate and I tackled Mary Berry’s American Chocolate Wedding Cake. Unaware that a standard American wedding cake existed, we took on this project of rather epic proportions, and after tasting the finished product, I’m sure any American would be proud of the association. We found the recipe in Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book, and while the recipe below is perfect for making one 8 inch and one 10-inch cake, you can refer to the back of the book if you’d rather a 6-, 9- or 12-inch construction.
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/170º fan/375ºF.
What you’ll need:
For the cake:
1050g dark chocolate
24 eggs (20 separated and 4 whole)
850g caster sugar
550g ground almonds
5 tsp black coffee
150g apricot jam
For the icing:
700g dark chocolate
300g unsalted butter
What to do:
If you haven’t already, preheat the oven to 190ºC/170º fan/375ºF. Lightly grease one 8-inch and one 10-inch round pan (at least 3 inches deep) and line with greased greaseproof paper.
Next, melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water (it’s best if your bowl does not touch the water). Once melted, remove from the heat and set aside.
Separate the eggs and combine the 20 yolks and 4 whole eggs in a bowl. Add the sugar and beat with an electric whisk until ‘thick and light’ (this will take slightly longer than you expect). Add the chocolate, ground almonds and coffee and continue mixing until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the chocolate batter (you will quickly discover you need a very large bowl for this). Once combined, pour into the two tins and bake. Mary recommends a baking time of 1 hour, but I found ours took a bit longer. As with any cake, bake until an inserted knife comes out clean.
Once you’ve removed your cakes from the oven, let them cool in the tin for about five minutes, then turn onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Once cooled, warm and sieve the apricot jam and spread or brush over the tops (originally the bottoms) and sides of the two overturned cakes.
For the icing, melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, stirring occasionally. Keeping each cake on its cooling rack (with a tray underneath to catch any
dripping chocolate), pour the icing over top, covering both the top and sides. Even the surface with a knife as you go, then leave to set.
Once cool, stack the smaller cake on top of the larger and decorate as you see fit. We ate the cake as is, and it was entirely delicious, however Mary recommends complimenting it with a raspberry coulis, which I imagine would be even more decadent.
The cake we made was indeed massive and would have comfortably fed fifty, so adjust your recipe to suit your guest list.