- 275g plain chocolate
- 175g butter, softened
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1tbsp cocoa powder
- 175g ground almonds
- Grated zest of I orange
- 2 tbsp Cointreau or orange liqueur
- A few chocolate mini eggs, for decoration
- Chocolate ganache:
- 300g milk chocolate
- 150ml double cream
If you prefer, you can top this cake with a simple chocolate butter cream; just beat 50g softened butter with 2tsp boiling water, 175g icing sugar and 25g cocoa powder until creamy.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/ Gas Mark 4. Grease and line the base of a 20cm round, deep cake tin.
- Break up 175g of the plain chocolate and place in a bowl over gently simmering water until melted (or microwave for 1-2 mins until melted). Allow to cool for 5 mins.
- Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric whisk until light and creamy in texture. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the butter mixture. Beat in the melted, cooled chocolate. Fold in the flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds, orange zest and liqueur.
- In a clean grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add a quarter of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture to help loosen it, mix in gently then fold in the remaining egg whites.
- Spread the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 50 mins-1 hour until firm to the touch and a skewer comes out cleanly.
- Cool in the tin for 5 mins then turn out and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- To make the chocolate ganache; break the chocolate up into pieces and place in a pan with the cream, warm over a very low heat, stirring all the time until melted and smooth then pour into a bowl and chill until thick enough to spread. Whisk lightly until thickened.
- To make the chocolate curls, melt the remaining plain chocolate in a bowl over gently simmering water until melted (or microwave for 1-2 mins until melted) then spread thinly on a marble board or the back of a cool metal baking tray. Allow to set without putting the chocolate in the fridge. Scrape a sharp knife at a 45 degree angle over the chocolate to make long curls
- Spread the top of the cake with the ganache, then arrange chocolate curls and Easter eggs on top.
By Nichola Palmer
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