Mother’s Day Musings & Malteser Chocolate Cake by Louise Gorrod (Buttercup Days)
Posted on March 26 2017
This is exciting, we have a new guest blogger… Louise Gorrod who has the most beautiful blog, Buttercup Days, which chronicles her deep passion for cooking and baking.
Louise works independently as a food stylist and photographer having worked on food styling and photography projects for The Simple Things magazine, Tesco and Onken. Her work has also appeared on numerous blogs including The Beat That My Heart Skipped, Heart Home and We Heart. Louise is also the Wishlist editor at The Simple Things magazine, a monthly printed publication that’s all about taking time to live well. She lives beside-the-sea in Hove, East Sussex with her husband, and two young children.
Take it away Louise…
I’d like to think that I have always appreciated my mum. However, since becoming a mother myself my appreciation has gone up a level or ten. My mum gave up work to look after my brother and I in the early years. Her life as a mother to young children was, in most cases, much like mine is now. My mum would cook lovely dinners, bake amazing cakes and make us homemade ginger beer. She would take us to the park, prepare us picnics and put up my wendy house for me in the garden when the weather was good. She made me dresses and fancy dress costumes. When I wanted my straight hair curly, she would painstakingly plait my damp hair into masses of tiny braids before bed so that I could wake up with wavy hair. When I my brother and I were a little older she went back to work and juggled motherhood with family life. Mothering seemed to come natural to my mum. It was the kind of mothering that made you feel happy, safe and warm. If I can be half the mother to my children that my mum was to me, I will consider it a job well done.
At quite a young age I can remember sometimes catching a glimpse of my parents in another light: as a young couple. Before I came along my mum was a Biba wearing girl who hung out at the Station Hotel in Richmond watching the Rolling Stones in their early days. I can’t beat that for pre-parenting coolness. I have memories of rare occasions (probably anniversaries or birthdays) when my parents would go out for the evening. Someone, usually my grandparents or a neighbour, would come round to babysit my brother and I. My mum would go upstairs to get ready and come down looking stunning. She’d look so lovely, I almost didn’t want her to go out – I wanted to spend the evening looking at her. She’d be wearing a special dress, high heels and her ‘going-out-for-the-evening’ coat. When she left there would be a lingering smell of perfume in the room. I’m not a perfume wearing person – no particular reason other than I don’t think to wear it. But on the odd occasion that I do splash on a bit of scent, I feel ‘very grown up’; strange considering I’m now in my 40’s. My childhood home had a number of pictures on the wall – famous artworks that Habitat reproduced. One of them was ‘La Loge’ (Box at the Opera) by Renoir. As a child I would always think that the woman in the painting looked like my mum when she was ‘going out for the evening’. It must have been the hair or something as she certainly didn’t have gowns quite as full-on as the one in the painting. Even now that picture still gives me that warm glow inside.
We wanted to share one of Louise’s divine recipes for Mother’s Day. Malteser Chocolate Cake ticked the boxes for us ;-)…
Malteser Chocolate Cake
225g margarine or unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g self-raising flour, sifted
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp whole milk
100g good-quality dark chocolate, melted
For the ganache:
200g dark chocolate
100g milk chocolate
1 x 300 ml carton double cream
For the topping:
1 x 135g pack Maltesers
bronze chocolate honeycomb sprinkles (available from M&S)
Preheat the oven to 180ºC, fan 160ºC, gas 4. In a food processor, cream the margarine or butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and milk, then mix until combined. Add the melted chocolate and mix again until smooth.
Grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins and line the bases with non-stick baking paper. Divide the cake mixture between the tines and smooth the surface. Bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes until golden and a skewer come away clean when inserted into the middle. Turn out the cakes on to a wire rack to cool.
To make the ganache, finely chop the dark and milk chocolate and add to a pan with the cream. On a low heat melt the mixture, stirring constantly until smooth. Pour the ganache into a shallow dish and cool, stirring occasionally and then chill until firm.
Place one of the cake layers on a serving plate and spread with half the ganache using a palette knife. Alternatively, spoon half of the ganache into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle and pipe on to the cake. Scatter with half of the Maltesers, lightly crushed.
Place the other layer on top of the first cake and either spread with the remaining ganache or pipe over a spiral of ganache, starting from the outside and working inwards. Finish off with the rest of the Maltesers, the bronze chocolate honeycomb sprinkles, and if you wish, some fresh flowers.