Purists believe that white chocolate doesn't officially count as chocolate at all. This means that you can enjoy this dramatic-looking layer cake with only half the guilt . . .
Takes 1 hour 10 minutes, plus cooling
- 500ml double cream
- 500g white chocolate, broken into small, even-sized pieces
- butter, for greasing
- 190g self-raising flour
- 40g cocoa powder
- 200g butter, soft and cut into small cubes
- 200g golden syrup
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 125g dark chocolate, broken into small, even-sized pieces 50ml shot of strong espresso
To make the ganache, heat the cream in a saucepan until just simmering. Then remove from the heat and add the white chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth. Leave to cool and thicken (this will take at least an hour - you can put it in the fridge, but check and stir it regularly so that it doesn't set too hard). It needs a spreadable consistency, like heavy whipped cream.
Heat the oven to 180oC/gas mark 4. Butter two 20cm non-stick cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment.
In a mixing bowl, place the flour, cocoa, butter, golden syrup, baking powder and eggs, then beat quickly with an electric mixer until creamy and blended. Melt the dark chocolate in a bain-marie, then pour it and the espresso shot into the mixture and blend until even. Divide the mixture between the two cake tins, place in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until a knife inserted into the centres comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn the cakes out on to a cooling wire, peel away the parchment and leave until cold.
Slice each cake in half horizontally, making four layers in total. Spread a small spoonful of the ganache in the middle of a serving plate. Stick a layer of cake on top. Spread with a layer of ganache, top with another cake and repeat until all four layers are used. Finally, top the cake and sides with a good layer of ganache. Leave to set for at least 30 minutes in a cool place.
Extracted from The Little Book of Chocolat by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde, published by Doubleday.