Sinful Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS:
For the chocolate marzipan:

  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 200g whole almonds
  • 50g dark cocoa powder
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk

METHOD:

  1. Put the almonds in my food processor and blasted them till fine.
  2. If using already ground almonds, just put those in the processor.
  3. Add the sugars and cocoa and blend to mix well. Beat the egg and egg yolk together and then add to the processor and blend until it comes together.
  4. Scoop out onto a piece of clingfilm and then wrap it up and place in the fridge. Keeps for a week in the fridge if you want to make it ahead.

For the cake:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 150 ml sour cream

METHOD:

  1. Take the butter and sour cream out of the fridge (and the eggs, too, if you keep them there). Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Line and grease two sandwich tins (8″/20cm).
  3. Put the instant coffee in a mug/bowl and pour 1 tbsp of boiling water over the top and stir well.
  4. When the butter etc is at room temperature, simply weigh everything out and put it all in a food processor. Blend until a you have a smooth batter. Measure out into the two tins and smooth.
  5. Put into the oven for around 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Remove to a wire rack and cool in the tin for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge and turning out. When cool place into the fridge to make them easier to split/work with. If you don’t have much time, just pop them in the freezer for a 5 minutes.

For the ganache:

  • 100g dark chocolate (I used 85%)
  • 2 tsp instant coffee
  • 60 ml double cream
  • 40 ml sour cream

METHOD:

  1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a small bowl. Heat the double cream and sour cream together in a small saucepan until nearly boiling then pour over the chocolate, ensuring all the pieces are submerged.
  2. Leave for two or three minutes before beating until smooth and glossy. Mix the instant coffee in a bowl with a tsp of boiling water then beat into the ganache.

To assemble:

  1. Split each of the cakes into two (I also trimmed them down to a smaller circumference as I wanted a taller-looking cake).
  2. Sandwich all the layers with the ganache. Put into the fridge and take out the marzipan.
  3. Cut an end off and form 11 small balls from it, rolling them in your hands. Put them to one side.
  4. Either dust the surface liberally with cocoa powder or sandwich the marzipan between two big sheets of cling film before rolling it out into a big circle. Use a piece of string to check it’s big enough. Get the cake out of the fridge and remove one side of the cling film. Place the centre of the marzipan circle over the cake and smooth down. Fold down over the sides and cut off any excess.
  5. Stick the balls of marzipan on top and dust with cocoa powder.
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