3 cups of all-purpose flour
1.5tsp baking powder
1.5tsp baking soda
3 large eggs - separated
1.5 sticks unsalted butter - softened
2 cups of firmly packed light brown sugar
8 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups of milk (I used semi-skimmed)
1.5tsp vanilla extract
2 small punnets of fresh, juicy raspberries
Chocolate Ganache Icing
24 ounces of dark chocolate (I used 50% cocoa solids)
3 cups of double (heavy) cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Grease and lightly flour two 9x2-inch round cake pans (I used loose-bottomed)
- In a large bowl sift together the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda and the salt. Put out of the way.
- Beat the egg yolks until they are thick and pale. I use my hand rotary whisk for a few minutes.
- In a large bowl cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy (use a wooden spoon).
- Add the egg yolks, beating well until they are incorporated.
- Add the chocolate and mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the milk and vanilla extract, beating after each addition until smooth. Try not to over-beat at this stage as you don't want to over develop the gluten in the flour which will make the cake tough.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form (use an electric mixer to save your wrists!)
- Gently fold the egg white mixture into the batter (use a metal spoon).
- Divide the batter between the prepared pans and cook in the centre of your oven until the cakes are done (about 40-45 minutes - a knife inserted into the centre should come out clean).
- Once the cakes are done, let them cool in their tins and then turn them out to cool properly.
- To make the icing, pop the chocolate (broken into pieces) into a pan with the cream and stir over a low/medium heat until the chocolate melts and the mixture thickens (about 30 minutes). It won't become an icing consistency at this stage; you need to chill it in the fridge for a couple of hours. When I made this I was in a real rush so I popped the icing in the freezer for a while (checking up on it every 10 minutes or so) and it soon came right.
- Spread the icing on the top of one of your layers and add a layer of the raspberries. I shmushed the berries into the chocolate as well as leaving some whole. Add the second cake and then ice the top and sides of the cake as you please.
- Set aflame and celebrate!
** Perfectionism. A dehabilitating disease which is still somewhat socially unacceptable. Symptoms include intense irritation and even panic when sufferers see papers at anything other than a 90 degree angle to the edge of a desk.
*** I favour the Anthea Turner method of towel-folding myself.