About this recipe:I made this cake for a friend's birthday recently. The cake served 24 people easily and I received lots of compliments on it.
The cake is a dark chocolate sponge layered with cream and jam, covered in shiny dark chocolate ganache and decorated with raspberries and chocolate fingers.
The recipe for the sponge is borrowed and adapted from another source and the decorations are a mix and match of ideas I've picked up from several different places. So credit is due to several people for this recipe.
Preheat the oven to 160 C / Gas 3. Butter a 17.5cm round springform cake tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.
Break 200g of the chocolate into pieces and put into a heavy based pan with the butter. Mix the coffee granules into 125ml of cold water and add to the pan. Warm over a low heat until everything has melted - be careful not to burn it. Set to one side.
Mix the self-raising flour, plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, muscovado sugar, caster sugar and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. With your hands mix them together, getting rid of any lumps.
In a separate bowl beat the eggs and 5 tablespoon of the cream.
Pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until everything is well blended and smooth. Pour into the cake tin.
Bake in the centre of the oven until you can stick a skewer or a clean knife into the middle and it comes out clean, about 1 hour 20 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes, then tip out onto a wire rack to cool completely. It doesn't matter if the cake sinks slightly or cracks a little on top.
When completely cold, carefully cut the cake horizontally into three layers using a long knife.
Make the ganache. Break the remaining 300g grams of the chocolate into a bowl. Heat 230ml of the cream in a saucepan until it is about to boil. Be careful not to let it burn. Pour the heated cream onto the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture smooth. Leave it to cool slightly.
Whip the remaining cream with a small pinch of salt. Place the messiest layer of cake on the board or tray you will serve the cake on. Stir the jam so it is a bit smoother. Dollop a couple of spoons of jam on top of the cake and spread gently using the back of the spoon, not quite reaching the edges. Dollop a couple of spoons of the whipped cream on top of the jam and spread again with the back of the spoon.
Repeat with a second layer of cake, jam and cream. Keep the neatest layer with the smoothest surface for the top layer. Mop up any stray crumbs. (in the cake in the photo I did one layer with jam and the other with cream)
Place the third layer on top. Pour the ganache on top of the cake bit by bit, letting it fall down the sides. Smooth the top and sides with a knife. Don't feel that you have to use all the ganache.
Gently push vertical chocolate fingers into the side of the cake, all the way round, making sure they are straight.
Just before serving, arrange the raspberries on top. I've learned from past experience not to do this step until shortly before serving as the raspberry juices can leak, making the cake look a bit messy if left for several hours.
Optional - tie a clean ribbon around the cake. Enjoy!
Make it healthier
Use reduced sugar jam - okay it won't make this heart-attack-on-a-plate any healthier but it will reduce the sweetness a little.
Use defrosted frozen raspberries - much cheaper and available out of season!
Use a mix of dark, milk and white chocolate fingers.
Whatever you do, don't try making the ganache with white chocolate - been there and it was a disaster! If anyone knows a good recipe for white chocolate ganache - let me know!
Absolutely delicious. I did however half the amount of both types of sugar and didn't put the chocolate fingers on (live abroad so can't get them) and it was still absolutely fine.
One point, the author must have very polite friends as there is no way this would feed 24 of mine! I get about 12 portions out of it. - 10 Apr 2014