It’s been an unintentionally long break from my last blog post, and truth is, I haven’t baked one of my dad’s recipes in ages! I mean, I went back over Chinese New Year and managed to collect some of his recipes then, but those are still sitting within my phone, waiting to be looked over and planned into my baking schedule.
That hasn’t stopped me from baking, but I do feel a bit guilty for not sharing anything lately so here’s a cake I made the other week for a birthday. The sponge/genoise recipe is my dad’s but the flavours are something new.
For those planning to make a cake that involves honeycomb in some capacity, I’d recommend that it be eaten right away (ie: the same day!). I learned the hard way that yes, it does start to melt in the fridge overnight: any honeycomb crumbs within the cream will have incorporated itself into the cream, while any decorations will soften at best if they haven’t already started to look “weepy” (or the way I like to think of it…the cake is crying that you haven’t eaten it immediately!).
I’ve also seen some recipes with buttercream, but I think when you have something as sweet as honeycomb, and rich layers of chocolate sponge, you need something a bit lighter to bring it all together, which is why I’ve stuck with freshly whipped cream. But if you’ve got a major sweet tooth, then by all means 😉
CHOCOLATE HONEYCOMB CAKE
Part 1: Chocolate sponge
This can be made up to two days in advance – wrap in saran wrap and store in the fridge.
1 Egg yolk
30g Cocoa powder
120g AP flour
¼ tsp Baking soda
10g Melted butter, cooled.
½ cap Vanilla flavouring
- Set oven at 175⁰C/350⁰F
- Grease a 9” tin, then lightly coat with flour. Shake any excess out.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolk and sugar with a hand mixer until the mixture doubles in volume, and forms a thick mixture. The more air that is beat into the eggs will help make the sponge rise.
- Sift flour, cocoa powder and baking soda together.
- Slowly fold the flour into the egg mixture until just incorporated. Careful of over mixing here as it could deflate the eggs.
- Take the melted butter and slowly pour it in, while folding, add half a cap of vanilla flavouring and keep folding until incorporated in.
- Pour mixture into your greased tin and place within centre of oven to bake for 45 minutes to an hour
- You may need to turn the tin 20-30 minutes in depending how even the baking is. To check if the sponge is ready, use a sharp knife, or toothpick, and stick it in the middle of the sponge. If it comes out clean it’s ready.
- Set aside and cool.
Part 2: Honeycomb
This can be prepared 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container. If any moisture gets to it you’ll find that it will start getting sticky – just dry it out on low heat in the oven, for approximately 5 mins and then cool before use.
2 tbsp golden syrup
100g caster syrup
1½ tsp baking soda
- Line a tray with high sides with parchment paper – grease with butter.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the golden syrup and sugar until it comes to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer for 5-10 minutes until the caramel sugar is at a “hard ball” stage. It is usually ready a few minutes after the bubbling has slowed down significantly and if you drop a bit of the syrup into the water – it should be brittle when ready. Careful that it doesn’t burn!
- Remove the pot from the heat and add the baking soda, mixing it in quickly.
- Pour the foaming mixture into the prepared tray. Leave it to set for about 30 minutes – hour.
- Smash into crumb-like texture when ready to assemble, keeping some of the bigger chunks for decorating.
Part 3: Assembly
¼ cup hot boiled water
2 caps brandy
750mL double cream or whipping cream
¾ cup honeycomb crumbs
- Dissolve the sugar with boiling water in a small bowl or cup, set aside and once cool, mix in the caps of brandy to make a sugar syrup and set aside.
- Take the chocolate sponge and horizontally slice off 0.5cm of the top to remove the top coating. Slice remainder of the sponge cake horizontally into 3 equal, level layers. These should be about 1.5cm thick. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, use an electric hand mixer to whisk the cream until softly whipped.
- Fold in the honeycomb crumbs
- Place a layer of the chocolate sponge down as the base, lightly brush the sponge with the sugar syrup to moisten the surface.
- Spoon the honeycomb cream on top of the sponge, spread evenly until it is 0.75” thick.
- Place the next layer of sponge on top and repeat steps 6-7 until you end up with a top layer of the orange cream.
- Finish the sides with remaining cream, ensuring an even layer of honeycomb cream throughout.
- Place in the fridge to rest and chill for about 15 minutes before finishing your decorations, here, I’ve used what was left of the honeycomb crumbs to cover parts of the sides of the cake and bigger pieces on top of the piped rosettes.