Well, this cake doesn’t really need much of an introduction does it? Just look at that meringue!
So… I was browsing instagram one day (shock) and saw some beautiful smores cup cakes – now, im not really a cupcake kind of baker so searched for some inspiration on the ‘smorescake’ hashtag instead… I was expecting to find huge chocolate cakes, slathered in burnt Italian meringue and dripping in chocolate. Instead, to my surprise I found perfectly formed cakes with razor sharp edges and elegant drips of chocolate tickling the sides of the cake. Since when was melty marshmallowy chocolatey biscuity goodness so neat and pretty?
Hence – this invention was made! I say ‘invention’ loosely as I by no means have invented this cake – i am merely helping you assemble such a beauty.
This post isn’t a recipe as such – it’s really just a mix of other peoples recipes that you can mix and match to make this fantastic cake. The star of the show is the Italian meringue, so if you’ve never tried it before i’ve signposted some great resources to help.
NOTE: If you want the torched exterior you’re going to have to make Italian meringue – I have used ‘fluff’ in the past but its not as good. You’ll need a few bits of equipment such as a blowtorch and a food thermometer but they are relatively cheap to buy.
You will need,
A Chocolate sponge recipe.
Suggestions for chocolate sponge.
Simple – Cupcake Jemma devils foodcake recipe – I used two 7.5 inch pans to bake this recipe, layering each one in half. I baked at a lower heat of 160degrees and added around 12mins onto the total time.
Decadent – Nigella’s old fashioned chocolate cake – my personal favourite.
Easiest – BBC good food easy chocolate cake – less indulgent but very simple and quick
Suggestions for filling and icing;
For the filling, the possibilities are endless – you could keep things simple by making a big batch of flavoured buttercream and using that to both fill and ice the cake. Biscoff spread would go perfectly! However if you want to achieve the s’mores effect with the torched look you’re going to have to be brave and attempt Italian meringue. Make a full batch as described below, you could flavour half and use to fill the cake and use the rest to ice and torch.
Easiest – Buttercream
Video help from Carina
Alternatively, a simple recipe is; 500g icing sugar, 200g butter, 2 tablespoons of milk
Then flavour it up by adding around 180g of biscoff/nutella/peanut butter – simple! If you want to use this for the exterior rather than torched meringue, just double up.
More adventurous – Italian meringue buttercream
THIS is a great recipe to make a large batch of Italian meringue – it is the most simple recipe and it works every time – skip forward to around 5 mins 20 seconds. I then use half of this and flavour for the filling and leave half plain to ice and torch.
To flavour – when the whole batch has cooled, take just under half of your mixture(around 250g) back to the mixer and slowly add 220g of room temp butter a tablespoon at a time – you will be left with super shiny Italian meringue buttercream – you could then flavour this with about 150g biscoff spread or 50g cocoa powder to counteract some of the sweetness
For the decoration; lotus biscuits, melted chocolate or biscoff spread, cinnamon biscuits, nuts, marshmallow
So, you’ve got your recipes – the assembly is the easiest part.
Use a serrated knife or a cake wire to cut your cakes to make four layers in total.
- Take a blob of your filling and use this to stick the first layer of sponge down to your board. Its a good idea to go in with what would have been the bottom of one of the cakes to make sure it has a flat base.
- Spread ⅓ of your chosen filling onto this sponge and spread to the edges.
- Add the second layer of cake and repeat – for the middle two layers I use what would have been the top of the cakes before finally adding the last ‘bottom’ to make sure the top is nice and flat.
- Use the filling that may have squished out to spread around the cake creating a crumb coat. Chill in the fridge for 15 mins.
- Take your chosen icing and spread around the cake – i find it easiest to start from the bottom and work in rings around the cake, finishing with the top last – you can find a little ‘how to’ on this in my instagram highlights. If you have used buttercream here is where you would finish of with your chosen decorations
- If your have chosen to meringue and torch you now have a couple of options. You could cover the cake completely in a thick layer or leave some chocolate seeping through as i did. It’s a nice little tease of what is inside.
- Finish off by using a spatula or back of a spoon on the top of the cake and smush things around to create some texture…
Now for the most exciting part… BURNY TIME!
Make sure you crumble on your chocolate and biscuits after you have torched your meringue, otherwise you’ll end up with burnt biscuit and melted chocolate!