The Great South African Bake Off recipe

Desert sunset chocolate cake

Recipe by Teddy from The Great South African Bake Off


The Great South African Bake Off - Past series

BBC Lifestyle


Cake batter:

  • 225g softened butter
  • 315g caster sugar
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 10ml vanilla extract
  • 200ml milk
  • 120ml water
  • 420g cake flour
  • 15ml baking powder
  • 2ml salt
  • 7½ml cream of tartar

Chocolate cake layer:

  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 60ml warm water

Mocha cake layer:

  • 30ml cocoa
  • 15ml instant coffee powder
  • 30ml warm water

Cinnamon cake layer:

  • 2½ml ground cinnamon
  • 2½ml ground ginger
  • 1¼ml ground cloves

Hazelnut praline:

  • 150g roasted blanched hazelnuts
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1tbsp water

Chocolate buttercream:

  • 200g dark chocolate pieces
  • 350g soft unsalted butter
  • 2tbsp milk
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g icing sugar

Chocolate shards:

  • 300g dark chocolate (70%)


  • 100g white chocolate
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 1 knob butter
  • 60ml cream

Preparation method

Cake batter:

  1. Preheat the oven to180°C.
  2. Grease and line the base of three 22cm sandwich pans.
  3. Cream the butter and caster sugar well.
  4. Add the egg yolks, and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the vanilla extract.
  6. Mix the milk and water together.
  7. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, and add (alternating with the milk and water mixture) to the creamed butter, sugar and egg mixture.
  8. Whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar, until stiff peak form.
  9. Fold the eggs whites into the flour mixture.
  10. Divide the batter into three equal portions (330g), and prepare each cake layer as detailed below.

Chocolate layer:

  1. Mix the sifted cocoa powder with warm water until smooth.
  2. Gently fold into a third of the batter mixture, and add to one of the pans.

Mocha layer:

  1. Mix the cocoa, coffee powder and water until smooth.
  2. Gently fold into a third of the batter mixture, and add to one of the pans.

Cinnamon layer:

  1. Sift the cinnamon, ginger and ground cloves.
  2. Gently fold into a third of the batter mixture, and add to one of the pans.
  3. Bake the three cake layers for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and cool on wire rack.

Hazelnut praline:

  1. Place sugar and water in a clean pan on medium heat.
  2. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Bring to a boil and bubble until the mixture turns a light golden-brown colour.
  4. Scatter roasted nuts on a piece of parchment paper.
  5. Drizzle the caramel over the nuts, then leave to cool.
  6. Smash into large shards.
  7. Reserve half the shards for decoration.
  8. Blitz the remaining shards in food processor until coarse.

Chocolate buttercream:

  1. Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Set aside and allow to cool.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Gradually add the cooled melted chocolate. Mix well.
  4. Gradually add the sifted icing sugar, mixing until incorporated.
  5. Add the vanilla extract.

Chocolate shards:

  1. Put ¾ of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water.
  2. Melt the chocolate (stirring slowly).
  3. When the chocolate reaches 45°C on sugar thermometer, remove from the heat.
  4. Add the remaining chocolate and stir until melted.
  5. Return the bowl to the heat, stir constantly until chocolate reaches 31°C.
  6. Pour over cling wrap.
  7. Smooth to an even layer, and allow to cool.
  8. When hardened, cut into shards.


  1. Over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate with the cream and butter.
  2. Mix until fully melted and smooth. Place in a shallow container. Cover and refrigerate to firm.
  3. Using a melon baller, scoop thickened mixture into balls. Gently roll with your hands to form round truffles.
  4. Melt the remaining chocolate and dip truffles into melted chocolate to coat.
  5. Place onto grease paper, and allow to cool.
  6. Once cooled, decorate as desired.


  1. Starting with chocolate cake as the base, spread an even layer of icing.
  2. Using a round cutter, core the centres of the mocha and cinnamon layers. Reserve the cut-outs to seal the cavity once filled.
  3. Place the cored mocha layer onto the chocolate layer, ice the top and sandwich with cored cinnamon layer (creating a cavity in the centre of the cake).
  4. Fill the cavity with truffles.
  5. Sandwich the two cut-outs with buttercream.
  6. Seal the truffle-filled cavity with the sandwiched cut-outs.
  7. Spread remaining icing over the top, and lightly ice the sides to secure shards.
  8. Sprinkle hazelnut praline over top centre.
  9. Decorate centre with remaining praline shards.
  10. Place chocolate shards around the cake.

This recipe was created and written by the accredited contestant of The Great South African Bake Off. BBC Worldwide accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of ingredients, method or content.