I have been making a version of this chocolate cake for about 15 years now. It started as a simple four-layer cake containing a chocolate base, mousse, ice cream and dark chocolate cocoa. At De Beers it became a five-texture cake and a signature dessert. This year I celebrated my eighth anniversary at Quay, so I decided to make the cake an eight-textured experience. The combination is now more complex, with a fantastic interplay of temperatures and textures. The flavour components of the cake are essentially dark chocolate, hazelnuts, caramel, vanilla and milk chocolate. I like to use a combination of Amedei Chuao (70 per cent) dark chocolate and Valrhona milk chocolate, as I consider these chocolates to be the best examples available, but feel free to use any good quality chocolate available to you. My favourite part of this cake is the sense of theatre and anticipation when we serve it in the restaurant — the hot chocolate sauce appears to melt through the centre of the cake. It is this small moment of theatre that I hope creates a lasting memory and adds to the pleasure of eating the dessert.
To assemble the chocolate cake, you will need eight stainless-steel rings,
To begin, place the cake bases on a metal tray, leaving a good space between each base. Place a cake ring on top of each base, fitting the base into the ring. Next, add
Use a kitchen blow torch to briefly heat the outside metal edge of the cake rings. Do this one at a time. Wait a couple of seconds and slide the metal ring up from the cake. Now top each cake with the dark chocolate top disc; this disc should sit flush with the edge of the cake. Flash the top of the chocolate to ensure an even sheen. Carefully move each cake from the tray to the centre of a serving plate, using a wide, bent palette knife. Place the hot chocolate sauce into a small copper saucepan, ensuring the sauce is at a reasonably hot temperature. Serve the cake and then serve a small spoonful of the hot chocolate sauce directly to the middle of each cake. Do this in front of your guests and they will see the chocolate sauce melt through the chocolate disc into the hole you previously made, adding a little theatre to the whole experience.
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