OK, now it's time to be bad! Is it your birthday? Is it Christmas and there's no danger that Santa Claus might take away your presents? Or perhaps it's New Year's Eve and you're starting your resolutions tomorrow ... well, don't wait. This cake is a mouthful of heaven, and, although it takes a while to make, it's definitely worth the effort. Remember that the filling must be made about two hours in advance, so plan ahead. Better if served at room temperature, the Cheer-up Chocolate Cake is proven to dispel clouds and put a smile on the lips of the grumpiest people. Close your eyes and enjoy its rich taste. You deserve it!
- a deep 20cm/8inch springform tin
- a food processor
- 250 ml fresh cream
- 225g white chocolate
- 225g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 175g self-raising flour
- 55g cocoa powder
- 350g dark chocolate
- 115g unsalted butter
- 85ml double cream
- chocolate curls
- 2 tsp icing sugar and cocoa powder
Firstly, make the filling. Pour the fresh cream into a small saucepan and bring it almost to the boil. Break the white chocolate into pieces, put it in a food processor and chop it coarsely. Then, leaving the motor running, pour in the cream. Continue to mix for 10 seconds or until it becomes smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool down, then cover it with some cling film and refrigerate it for 2 hours, or until it feels firm. When it's ready, whisk it (in the food processor or with electric whisks) until it starts holding soft peaks.
Secondly, prepare the sponge. Soften the butter, then put it into the food processor together with the sugar and beat them with the paddle attachment (alternatively, you can use electric whisks) until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs gradually. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180 °C. Sift the flour and cocoa into a large bowl, then pour in the liquid mixture and fold it in. Grease the tin, dust it with flour and get rid of the excess (or line it with oven parchment), then spoon the mixture into it and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the cake feels springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into it comes out clean. Let it cool down in the tin for a few minutes, then transfer onto a plate or a rack.
Lastly, make the frosting. Melt the chocolate and mix it with the softened butter and double cream. Continue stirring until the mixture cools down. When the cake has also cooled down, slice it carefully into three layers and spread the filling (the white mixture you made at the start) between the each of them. Then cover the cake with the (dark) frosting. Make some chocolate curls by shaving a bar of dark chocolate, better if chilled, with a potato peeler (mind your hands!) and sprinkle them over the frosting. Mix together icing sugar and cocoa powder and sift over the curls.
The scent will be irresistible. Lure in your best friends and give them a present of a delicious, scented chocolate dream. Don't forget to lick your fingers!