Melted butter, to grease
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup flour
60g unsalted butter, melted
80g dark cooking chocolate, melted and cooled
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 Tbsp Amaretto (or almond liqueur)
1/4 cup water
Chocolate Mousse Frosting
240g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
2 cups thickened cream
10g sachet powdered gelatine
1/4 cup hot water
1 Tbsp Amaretto (or almond liqueur)
Dark and/or milk chocolate curls
1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 24 x 12 x 8cm loaf tin and a 24 x 24 x 5cm cake tin. Line the base of each tin with baking paper and set aside.
Combine eggs and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until thick, pale and frothy. Gradually add 1 cup of the sugar, beating 7-10 minutes or until tripled in size. Sift 1/3 cup of the flour over egg mixture; gently fold in. Repeat twice. Fold in butter. Spread 1 ½ cups of batter into the loaf tin. Fold melted chocolate into remaining batter; spread chocolate batter into cake tin.
Bake chocolate cake for about 15 minutes and the vanilla cake for about 20 minutes or until the tops spring back when gently pressed. Cool on wire racks in tins for 10 minutes. Remove from tins; peel off paper. Cool on racks. Cut chocolate cake in half, making two 24 x 12cm layers. Trim cakes to the same length.
To make Amaretto syrup, combine water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Stir in the liqueur. Cool to room temperature.
To make chocolate mousse frosting, put 140 g of the chocolate in a bowl. Put ½ cup of the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until just boiling pour over chocolate. Let stand for 3 minutes. Gently whisk until smooth. Let stand for 15 minutes, whisking occasionally, until cool. Sprinkle gelatine over hot water and whisk with a fork until dissolved. Stir in the liqueur. Beat the remaining cream with electric beaters until soft peaks form, then gradually drizzle the gelatine mixture over cream. Beat just until stiff peaks form. Stir 1 cup of the whipped cream mixture into the chocolate mixture. Fold the chocolate mixture into the remaining whipped cream mixture.
Brush 1 chocolate layer with about 1/3 of the syrup. Spread with 2/3 cup frosting. Top with vanilla cake; brush with another 1/3 of the syrup. Spread with another 2/3 cup frosting. Top with remaining chocolate cake layer; brush with remaining syrup. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake layers. Cover and chill for 2-4 hours. Meanwhile, use remaining chocolate to make curls.
To serve, allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pile the chocolate curls and the almonds on top and serve.
Cook’s tip: To make chocolate curls, melt chocolate over a pan of simmering water until smooth. Pour onto flat surface, leave to set, then push a large knife away from you across top to form a curl. Easy!
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