Chocolate Honeycomb Cake
This chocolate honeycomb cake is my take on chocolate–coated cinder toffee in cake form. The sponge-like texture of honeycomb is a perfect match for smooth chocolate and is slightly less sweet than traditional toffee or caramel (mostly through the added air!). So why not pile honeycomb on top of a chocolate cake?
Although honeycomb is a type of toffee and has no connection to the honeybee’s sweet creation, the play on words is enough of a connection for me to sandwich this sponge with honey buttercream. The sour cream balances the sweetness of this buttercream, much in the same way as cream cheese frosting. Try my chocolate honeycomb cake for yourself and see what you think.
Chocolate Honeycomb Cake Recipe
Makes one 20cm (8”) cake
butter, for greasing
500g fairtrade caster sugar
5tbsp fairtrade golden syrup
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g self-raising flour
30g fairtrade cocoa powder
225g unsalted butter
225g fairtrade golden caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs
115g unsalted butter
250g fairtrade icing sugar
80g clear honey
60g sour cream
1 Use the butter to grease a 20cm (8”) square baking tin.
2 In a deep, heavy saucepan gently heat the sugar and syrup on low until the sugar has melted. It helps to swill the pan around every now and then to mix the dissolved sugar with the un-dissolved sugar (but don’t be tempted to stir with a spoon as it will crystallise). Use a pastry brush dipped in water to wipe any sugar on the side of the pan.
3 Once the sugar has dissolved, simmer on medium heat until it turns to an amber, caramel colour. Quickly take off the heat and stir in the bicarbonate of soda – it will bubble up and foam. Pour into the greased tin and it will continue to bubble. Leave it to cool for around 1 to 1½ hours whilst making the cake.
4 Remove the honeycomb from the tin and crack it into bite-sized pieces.
1 Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5. Grease and line two 20cm (8”) round sandwich tins.
2 Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a small bowl and add a pinch of salt.
3 Use a hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar on a high speed until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time mixing on a medium speed. Just after the final egg is combined, gently fold in the flour and cocoa powder. Stir in a splash of milk or water to reach dropping consistency.
4 Divide the mixture evenly between the tins. Use a palette knife to gently spread the mixture evenly with a slight well in the centre. Bake for 20–25 minutes until a knife comes out clean.
5 Carefully run a palette knife around the edges to release the sides of the cake. Turn the baked sponges out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
1 Beat the butter with a hand mixer until pale and fluffy then sift in the icing sugar. Stir gently at first to incorporate the icing sugar (and prevent a cloud of icing erupting from the bowl) then beat on high for 30 seconds until fully combined.
2 Add the honey and sour cream and beat on high for another 30 seconds. A little more icing sugar can be added to make the buttercream stiffer, if you’d prefer. Chill the buttercream in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm.
Use a palette knife to spread half of the buttercream on the first layer of the sponge. Add the second sponge layer and spread the remaining buttercream on top. Decorate the cake with the honeycomb and an extra drizzle of honey.