Tuesday, 5 November 2013

"Catherine Wheel" Chocolate Bonfire Cake

What do foil wrapped jacket potatoes, burnt sausages, steaming styrofoam mugs of hot chocolate and Toffee Apples have in common?

(Don't get your hopes up; this isn't a very good joke)

They are Bonfire Night staples. 

I adore Bonfire Night. The dancing flames rising high into the cold Autumnal sky. A field full of strangers 'Ohhing' and 'ahhing' in unison at the fireworks. Trying to write your name from start to finish in Sparklers. And the modern day equivalent: trying to capture it on your smartphone.

And of course the food. It's all about the warming carbohydrate and sweet treat. Have you every seen anyone huddle around a bonfire with a layered salad and a celery stick? Exactly.

Previously I've made Mini Bonfire Cakes and Fat Rascals to take along to the display in our local park. 

This year it'll be generous slices of this Chocolate Cake inspired by the Catherine Wheel firework. I feel I need to include a video of this cake spinning manically round like its name sake. Sorry to disappoint. 

"Catherine Wheel" Chocolate Bonfire Cake

For the cake: 
125g softened, unsalted butter
180g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract 
150g self raising flour, sifted
50g cocoa powder, sifted 
pinch salt
150g soured cream

For the fudge icing:
60g melted 70% dark chocolate
85g unsalted butter
90g sifted icing sugar 
1 tsp vanilla extract

To decorate:
Assorted chocolate sweets

1. Grease and lightly flour a 1.4 litre (6 cup ring tin. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. 
2. Beat together the butter and sugar for several minutes until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and extract, continuing to slowly beat until combined
3. In a second bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt
4. Beat in half of the flour mixture, followed by half of the soured cream until just combined. Repeat with the remainder of the flour mixture and soured cream 
5. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cake rack to cool completely
6. To make the fudge icing: beat together the butter and icing sugar until combined. Stir in the melted chocolate and vanilla. Spoon the icing over the upturned, cooled cake. Decorate with red, orange and yellow sweets to form the firework effect 

Baker's notes...

  • This is a moist, light cake with a dark chocolate hit from the fudgey icing
  • It is best eaten within a couple of days but the uniced cake freezes well
  • Happy Bonfire Night!


  1. What a great idea! I love the look of the thick fudgy icing. I suppose you could have it spinning round in circles on a cake turntable, but I would be worried it might slip off!

  2. I love the idea of a cake inspired by a firework. I've just launche a new linky called Celebration Cakes And Bakes if you fancied joining in? This month there's a prize from Renshaw Baking :)http://jaisee.com/mummymakescakes/celebration-cakes-and-bakes-launch-and-giveaway/


Thank you very much for your comment- I appreciate every single one of them!