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Step by Step - Chocolate Easter Cake
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Make this rich cake for a treat at Easter. The melted chocolate and ground almonds ensure a moist and crumbly texture to the sponge, which is covered in a layer of chocolate cream. For a finishing touch, decorate the cake with chocolate truffles - they are easy and fun to make, so you could make a few extras to give as Easter gifts.
You could use an orange, coffee or almond flavoured liqueur instead of the milk when melting the chocolate for the sponge.
If the cake has become slightly domed after cooking, trim with a sharp knife to level when cool. Discard the excess then continue with step 4.
You will find it easier to make the chocolate shards if the chocolate is slightly soft. If it is very brittle, put it in the microwave for 15 seconds on high to soften. You might need to do this 2-3 times until the chocolate is soft enough to work with.
Chilling time for the truffle eggs and chocolate cream will vary, depending on how hot the cream is when you add the chocolate. It should take between 30 minutes-1 hour. When making both the truffles and cream, take care not to overheat the cream; if it is allowed to become too hot, it will affect the texture and flavour of the chocolate.
For extra flavour, add 1 tbsp of liqueur to the truffle egg mixture before chilling.
Once finished, the cake will keep well overnight in a cool place. Like all sponge-based cakes, it should not be kept in the fridge as the texture will become very firm and the chocolate covering may crack.
2 x 20cm round, loose-bottomed cake tins
Small, sharp knife
Small, heavy-based pan
This recipe was first published in Tue Apr 01 01:00:00 BST 2003.