Rich Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • 100 g (4 oz) bar of 70 per cent chocolate
  • 125 mls (generous 4 oz) chocolate or coffee liqueur, espresso or other strong black coffee left over from breakfast; or use a mixture of these liquids
  • 100 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 225 g (8 oz) light muscovado or caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla essence
  • 200 g (7 oz) self-raising flour sifted with 25 g (1 oz) cocoa, 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice and ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 125 mls (generous 4 oz) plain yoghurt, crème fraiche, sour cream or soured milk
  • 3 free-range eggs, separated

Filling

  • 100 g (4 oz) bar of chocolate
  • 200 mls (7 oz) double cream

Method

Grease and flour two 18-20 cm (7-8 inch) sponge tins, or line with Bakewell paper.

Put the broken-up chocolate in a bowl over hot water, and add the liquid. Leave until the chocolate has melted, and stir.

Put the rest of the ingredients, except the egg whites, in the food processor and process for 25 seconds, stopping and scraping down the sides with a spatula halfway through.

Add the chocolate mixture, and process for a couple of seconds more.

Whisk the egg whites until firm and snowy, and fold lightly into the cake mixture with a metal spoon, having first removed the bowl from the processor and taken out the blade.

Spoon the mixture equally into the two prepared tins, smooth the surface, and bake in the middle of a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 for about 25 minutes.

Allow to cool in the tins for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

When cool, sandwich with a filling made by melting the chocolate in the double cream, which you then beat as it cools, to thicken it.

Dust the top with icing sugar, or glaze with sieved, warmed apricot jam and sift over it chips of drinking choco-late (not powder), such as that from Charbonnel & Walker and the Chocolate Society.

If you sandwich the cake with black cherry jam and plenty of whipped cream, and spread or pipe whipped cream all over the top and sides, you will have something not far removed from Black Forest gateau.

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