Anneka Manning's layered white chocolate cake
This makes the most perfect and decadent birthday cake, it is utterly delicious!
400g white chocolate, chopped
300g unsalted butter, cut into 1cm pieces
1 1/2 cups (330g) caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
3 cups (450g) plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup (165g) good-quality raspberry jam
Freeze-dried raspberries (see notes) or fresh raspberries, to decorate
WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
750g white chocolate, chopped
1 cup (250ml) pure (thin) cream
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line two 20cm round cake pans.
2. Place chocolate, butter and milk in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until melted and smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool completely.
3. Add the sugar, vanilla and eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until well combined. Sift in the flour and baking powder, then stir until just combined. Divide mixture evenly between cake pans and tap pans gently on a flat surface to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool the cakes in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, for the ganache, place the chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water), stirring until smooth and melted. Remove bowl from heat and cover with plastic wrap. Chill, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours or until it reaches a thick spreadable consistency. Divide the ganache into three portions (you will use 1 portion for the filling and the remaining 2 to ice the cake) and use immediately.
5. To assemble the cake, trim the top of the cooled cakes to level, then slice each cake in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on a serving plate, and spread with one-third of the ganache filling, then top with 2 tbs jam. Repeat layering two more times, finishing with a final layer of cake. Using a palette knife, spread remaining ganache icing over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with fresh flowers and serve.