Two cocoa dough layers, a soft vanilla sponge, vanilla buttercream and double chocolate topping – this is the Romanian cake Televizor.
So, a cake named Televizor or television set, a bit unusual I would say. It was the main reason why this cake stayed in my mind after seeing it somewhere online. I was wondering why this name and then I thought it should have something to do with the look of the cake. Old television sets from the seventies and eighties, I grew up with one of those myself, it was only in the early nineties that we got our first “modern” TV set.
The old one used to be a huge square black box with a large thick screen and some buttons on the right side of the screen. I can still remember the sound of those buttons when we turned on the TV or adjusted the sound. No need for changing the channel though, there was only one channel in the 80s, which would transmit only 2 or 3 hours in the evening and a bit more on the weekend, if I remember correctly. Those were the times… 🙂 Lots of time to read and no binge Game of Thrones – Season 1-6 sessions…
Apparently this Vanilla Chocolate Layer Cake – Prajitura Televizor is one of those old famous Romanian cakes as well. I have to admit that this cake is the only one in this series featuring well-known Romanian cakes recipes like the Meringue Brownies – Negrese or the Romanian Biscuit Salami – Salam de biscuiti that I didn’t know before. I only realized that it is so popular because I kept stumbling upon one recipe or another on almost each and every Romanian blog I follow… And in one conversation I had with my aunt about the Romanian Lemon Cake – Lamaita, she mentioned the Vanilla Chocolate Layer Cake without me even asking about it, she said she makes it quite often herself.
So I got the recipe and made this cake as well. So glad I did, we really loved it all of us and I must say that this is a particularly well suited cake for the children. I was not able to impress my kids much with the Romanian Chocolate Cake Boema, which contains just too much dark chocolate for a child’s taste, but these soft layers of sponge and vanilla cream were definitely a hit. What I recommend is to make the cake one day in advance and let it develop the texture and flavors until the next day. The moisture of the vanilla buttercream will then have time to penetrate all those different cake layers making the Vanilla Chocolate Layer Cake even better than it already is.
The recipe for this cake might seem a bit long, but please don’t worry and give it a try if you like the way it looks, although it has a few different steps, they are all so easy, you will have no problem making the Vanilla Chocolate Layer Cake.
- Cocoa layers:
- 125 g/ 4.4 oz/ 1 ¼ cups icing sugar
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz butter, very soft
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 20 g/0.7 oz/ scant ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ sachet/ 1 2/3 teaspoons Dr. Oetker baking powder
- 250 g/ 8.8 oz/ 2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Vanilla sponge:
- 3 eggs, separated
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ sachet/ 1 2/3 teaspoons Dr. Oetker baking powder
- pinch of salt
- Vanilla buttercream:
- 30 g/ 1.05 oz/ ¼ cup cornstarch
- 35 g/ 1.2 oz/ 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 500 ml/ 17 fl.oz/ 2 cups milk
- 1-2 teaspoon vanilla extract, to taste
- 125 g/ 4.4 oz/ butter, very soft
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ 1 cup icing sugar
- Ganache topping:
- 250 ml/ 8.4 fl.oz/ 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
- 125 g/ 4.4 oz milk chocolate
- chocolate flakes
Ganache topping and pudding for the buttercream:
Start with the topping and the pudding for the buttercream, they should have enough time to cool.
For the ganache heat the cream in a small pot. Chop the chocolate very finely or process it in the food processor, place it in a bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir well until the chocolate is melted and shiny. Cover with cling film, let cool and place in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
For the pudding mix the flour and cornstarch with some of the milk in a bowl, you should obtain a thick yet pourable paste. Whisk well, so you have no clumps. Heat the rest of milk until it comes to a boil. Add the flour-cornstarch mixture while whisking all the time and keep whisking vigorously until the mixture thickens, it will only take moments. Remove from the heat, stir in vanilla extract to taste (the pudding is not sweetened yet, so don't get a shock, the sugar comes in with the butter) and place a piece of cling film directly on top of the pudding. Let get cool at room temperature.
Cocoa dough layers:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose a baking dish of about 23x33 cm/ 9x13 inches and cut 3 sheets of baking paper. You will only need the baking dish for baking the sponge, but the cocoa layers have to be rolled the same size of this pan.
Place the icing sugar, soft butter, milk, honey, cocoa, eggs, vanilla extract, flour and baking powder in the food processor and process until well mixed, not too long. Place one sheet of baking paper on the working surface and give half of the cocoa dough on it. Press the dough to a rough rectangle with your hands, cover it with another sheet of baking paper and roll it to a rectangle of the same size of the tin you will be using to bake the sponge. Remove the upper baking paper sheet and transfer the rolled dough together with its lower baking paper sheet onto a baking tray. Bake for about 10-12 minutes.
In the meantime roll the second half of the cocoa dough just as explained before and bake as well. Let cool. Bake the sponge immediately while the oven is still hot.
Lightly butter the rectangular baking dish you chose before and line it with baking paper.
Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites until stiff, slowly add the sugar and continue beating until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
In another bowl mix the egg yolks and the warm water. Carefully incorporate into the egg whites.
In another bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Sift over the egg mixture and incorporate carefully with a plastic spatula.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
To make the buttercream start by beating the soft butter. Add the icing sugar and continue beating until nice and fluffy. Slowly start adding the pudding, one tablespoon at a time while beating all the time.
Beat the ganache until fluffy, taste and add a bit of icing sugar if you feel it necessary, I didn't.
To assemble the cake place one cocoa layer on a suitable rectangular serving dish. Spread half of the vanilla buttercream on top and level nicely. Place the sponge on top and cover it with the remaining vanilla buttercream. Place the second cocoa layer on top and press lightly. Spread the ganache on top and sprinkle the cake with the chocolate flakes.
Cover carefully with some aluminum foil without ruining the topping and place in the fridge for at least 4-5 hours or better overnight. Cut into squares and serve.
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