This impressive cake may look a little daunting to get started, but it's actually really easy to make. Reserve a few hours, in the meantime enjoy great music or an interesting podcast and enjoy making this beautiful cake!
For the Ombre Layer Cake:
Preheat the oven to 175˚C. Grease and line the bases of 3 9” sandwich tins. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the butter and sugar and mix on a medium speed for 5 minutes until the butter is light and creamy.
Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside.
Turn the mixer down to a low speed and crack the eggs in one at a time, ensuring each egg is mixed in before adding the next.
Once the eggs are fully incorporated, add half of the flour and mix to combine, add 1tbsp of the milk and vanilla extract followed by the remaining flour and mix again.
Pour 1/3 of the vanilla batter into one of the prepared tins and smooth the surface. Add 25g of the cocoa powder into the remaining batter and mix to combine.
Pour half of the remaining batter into another tin, smooth the surface a set aside. Add the remaining 50g of cocoa powder and the 2tbsp of milk to the batter and mix to combine.
Add the remaining 50g of cocoa powder and the 2tbsp of milk to the batter and mix to combine.
Pour the chocolate batter into your last tin, smooth the top, and set aside.
Bake the cakes in your preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 5 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Ganache:
Break the chocolate up and place in a microwave safe bowl with the cream.
Microwave for 20 seconds and stir together. Microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring in between each heating, until the ganache is smooth and glossy.
Set aside to cool and allow to thicken slightly before using. If the ganache is too thick when it comes to piping, just warm it in the microwave for an extra 10 seconds.
For the Frosting:
First mix the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until pale and soft. Add the icing sugar, vanilla extract and 2tbsp of the milk.
Turn the mixer on low and gradually increase the speed. Whip for 5 minutes, if the frosting looks too stiff add a splash more milk until you reach a nice spreading consistency.
Remove 1/3 of the vanilla buttercream and place into a bowl, add the cocoa powder and 1tbsp of milk. Mix together to make a chocolate frosting. Add a little more milk if it seems stiff.
To Assemble the Cake:
Place the vanilla layer of cake on a cake stand and top with a large spoonful of the vanilla buttercream.
Place the lighter chocolate cake layer on top and repeat with the last, chocolate layer.
Using a large spatula, frost the outside and top of the cake, scraping off any excess buttercream from the sides so you can just see the cake layers showing through.
Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to set the crumb layer.
For the Finishing Touch:
Top the cake with chocolate sprinkles and 12 Guylian Chocolate Sea Shells.