Don’t you just love mini cakes!? They may be small in size but these chocolate mini cakes are big on flavour, texture and appearance. Mini cakes just seem to have that extra wow-factor and cuteness-factor!
For this recipe I’ve used Menier’s Moelleux rich chocolate sponge mix for the mini chocolate cakes and Menier’s 70% Swiss Dark Chocolate for the ganache frosting. Both products really deliver on quality and taste. I’ve always been a big fan of Menier’s cooking chocolate bars, but this was my first time using their new baking kits and I was seriously impressed! I was amazed at what a rich and chocolatey sponge it produced, and the texture of the sponge is spot on too. Soft, fluffy and buttery. Completely on par with a baked-from-scratch cake.
So this is me telling you that it’s okay to cut corners sometimes in baking 😉 just make sure you choose high quality substitutions like Menier’s cake mixes so you don’t compromise on taste or texture. Plus, they’re free from preservatives, colouring and artificial flavours.
About these Mini Chocolate Cakes
Ease. With the help of Menier’s Moelleux sponge mix these mini chocolate cakes are so easy to make. You can whip up the chocolate cake mixture in less than 5 minutes and only need to add eggs and butter.
Flavour. Chocolate + chocolate = double chocolate heaven! I’ve added a generous amount of salt into the ganache frosting which helps to balance the sweetness and intensify the chocolate flavour.
Texture. The mini sponges are soft, light and fluffy. The ganache frosting is velvety smooth and melts-in-the-mouth. It’s a wonderful pairing of textures.
3 ways you can make mini chocolate cakes
There are 3 different ways you can make these mini chocolate cakes. Each way has pro’s and con’s so it just depends on your personal preference and what equipment you have to hand.
- Cut the cakes out using a small round cookie cutter. First bake the sponge in a large rectangular traybake tin, let it cool down and then stamp out the mini cakes. This is how I made these mini cakes using a 4.5cm sized cookie cutter (check out the photograph below). The downside of this approach is that the cakes won’t stay fresh for as long because cut cake tends to dry out more quickly.
- Bake the cakes in a mini cake baking tray. Divide the cake mixture between the baking tin holes, then bake and leave to cool. You can then stack two of the mini cakes to make a double layer cake. I can personally vouch for this mini cake baking tray from Lakeland. It’s loose-bottomed so the mini cakes can be easily released.
- Use individual mini cakes tins. Bake the cakes in the individual tins, let them cool and then slice them horizontally to create two layers. Just bear in mind that these tins tend to be on the larger size (roughly 10cm) so the cakes won’t be as miniature in size.
5 tips for making the chocolate ganache
- Very finely chop the chocolate. The smaller the better because the hot cream will melt the chocolate more easily. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl.
- Make sure the cream is piping hot. You need to make sure the cream is hot enough to melt the chopped dark chocolate. Heat it in a small saucepan sat over a low heat until steaming hot and small bubbles start to form around the edge. Remember to stir the cream every so often so it doesn’t burn.
- Cover all the chopped chocolate with the cream so it’s completely submerged.
- Place a plate on top and let the chocolate sit for a 2 minutes. This will trap the steam from the hot cream and give the chocolate chance to melt before you stir it.
- Gently whisk until smooth and shiny. Stir slowly so you don’t add too much air into the ganache or cause it to split.
Trouble with your chocolate ganache? Here are some troubleshooting tips:
There are chunks of chocolate that haven’t melted
Either your cream was not hot enough, it didn’t sit for long enough, or the chocolate wasn’t chopped small enough. Place the bowl on top of a pan of simmering water and gently stir the ganache until the chunks of chocolate has melted. Just take care not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl.
The ganache split and turned grainy
First of all, don’t panic! This can happen sometimes and your ganache can be saved. Stir in a teaspoon at a time of cold double cream until the ganache comes together again.
Quick links to equipment & ingredients
Mini Chocolate Cakes with Ganache Frosting
Mini chocolate cakes
- 1 box Menier Moelleux Sponge Mix
- 90 g Unsalted butter
- 4 medium Eggs at room temperature
Chocolate ganache frosting
- 150g Unsalted butter soft at room temperature
- 350g Icing sugar
- 0.5 tsp Salt
- 100 ml Double cream
- 100 g Menier 70% Dark Chocolate
- Frosted cranberries
- Desiccated coconut
First make the mini chocolate cakes
- Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a large rectangular traybake tin (the link to the one I used is above) with greaseproof paper.
- Make up the Menier chocolate cake mix as per the instructions on the box.
- Pour the mixture into the baking tin and spread out to the edges.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes* until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the baking tin on a wire rack.
Make the chocolate ganache frosting
- Beat the soft butter, icing sugar and salt together until smooth. Set aside for now.
- Very finely chop the dark chocolate and place it in a bowl.
- Heat the double cream in a saucepan on low heat until piping hot and small bubbles start to form around the edge. Stir every so often so the cream doesn't burn.
- Pour the hot cream all over the chopped chocolate and cover with a plate to lock in the heat for 2 minutes.
- Use a whisk to gently stir the chocolate until it melts into a glossy ganache**.
- Let the ganache cool for 10 minutes, then add it to the buttercream and mix well until smooth.
- Spoon the ganache frosting into a piping bag fitted with a small open star nozzle.
Assemble the mini cakes
- Lift the cake out of the baking tin and peel back the greaseproof paper.
- Use a small round cookie cutter (4.5cm) to stamp out the mini cakes. You should get about 15 in total. TIP: you can use the leftover cake crumbs to make cake pops.
- Pipe a swirl of ganache frosting on top of half of the mini cakes.
- Place the other mini cakes on top, gently pressing them down to sandwich them together.
- Pipe another swirl of frosting on top, sprinkle on a little desiccated coconut and decorate with frosted cranberries.
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