Every cook should master how to make a light, even sponge. Once you have, you can use it as a canvas for any flavors you like. Chocolate and ginger is a classic combination that works really well here.
Rate this recipe!
¾ cupbutterat room temperature, plus extra for greasing, 1½ sticks
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour a deep 8-inch removable-bottomed cake pan.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, add the vanilla extract, and mix well.
Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in gently using a spatula until completely combined. Add a little milk, if necessary, to create a batter of dropping consistency.
Pour the mixture into the cake pan, smoothing it down with the back of a spatula. Knock the pan on the work surface to get rid of any air pockets and to create a level batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes until golden and just firm to the touch.
To test if the cake is cooked, insert a knife or metal skewer into the middle: it should come out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the icing while the cake is baking because it needs to thicken for 30 minutes before use. (If it is too runny, it will pour off the sides and look messy.) Put the chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl. Place the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until they come just to a boil. Pour immediately into the bowl, stirring until the chocolate and butter have completely melted, and the mixture is thick and glossy. Set aside.
To make the filling, whip the cream and confectioners’ sugar to soft peaks, then mix in the ginger.
Once the sponge is cool, cut it in half horizontally. Spread the ginger cream over one half, then place the other half on top, pressing down lightly to push the cream to the edges.
Using a spatula, spread the icing over the cake and allow to set before serving.