Because it's my day and because I'm a chocoholic... here's a rich and delicious cake, filled with a double cream and melted plain chocolate mixture, topped with more melted chocolate and chocolate curls made from white and plain chocolate. Wicked!
175g light muscovado sugar
150g self-raising flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
Filling and decoration:
2 x 100g bars plain chocolate, broken into pieces
90ml double cream
100g bar white chocolate, broken into pieces
1 tsp cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C/Gas 4). Grease and base line two 18 cm (7 inch) sandwich tins.
Combine the sugar, flour, salt and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Rub in the butter, using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Beat the eggs, milk and vanilla together. Add to the bowl and stir well, then spoon into the prepared tins and level the tops. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.
For the filling, melt the plain chocolate in a bowl placed over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Pour about one third of this chocolate onto a marble surface or smooth chopping board and spread it out to about 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick. Chill it in the refrigerator for making curls. Cool the remaining chocolate for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the cream until it holds its shape. Swirl in half the remaining plain chocolate, then use this mixture to sandwich the cakes together. Spread the remaining plain chocolate over the top of the cake.
To make chocolate curls, push a long-bladed knife over the surface of the chilled chocolate. (If it flakes, allow the chocolate to sit at room temperature for a few minutes). Lift the curls onto the cake with a fine skewer or cocktail stick. Melt the white chocolate in the same way to make white chocolate curls and place these on top of the cake. Dust with a little cocoa powder, then serve.
Keep the finished cake in the fridge. Remember to let it come to room temperature before you serve it to appreciate its flavour.