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Chocolate & strawberry layer cake
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For the sponge
40g cocoa powder
200g Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate, broken into small pieces
200g Président Slightly Salted Butter, sliced
275g Billington’s Golden Caster Sugar
5 British Blacktail Free Range Medium Eggs, separated
2 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
300ml double cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
100g Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate, broken into small pieces
450g British Strawberries
2 tbsp strawberry conserve
1 tbsp hazelnuts, roughly chopped, to scatter
3 Lindt Gold Bunnies (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Grease 3 x 18cm sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Whizz the hazelnuts in
a food processor until they have the consistency of ground almonds.
2. Put the cocoa in a large, heatproof bowl and whisk in 75ml hot water. Set the bowl over a pan of just simmering water, add the chocolate and butter, then reduce the heat to low. Leave until the chocolate and butter have melted, stirring occasionally, until smooth and glossy. Remove from the heat and stir in 200g sugar and the egg yolks, vanilla extract and ground hazelnuts.
3. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until they form soft peaks. Gradually whisk in the remaining 75g sugar. Spoon 1/3 of the mixture into the chocolate bowl and fold in using a large metal spoon. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in until just combined. Divide between the tins, level the surfaces and bake for 25 minutes, until just firm and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Carefully remove the cakes from the tins and leave on a wire rack to cool.
4. For the decoration, put the cream and icing sugar in a small saucepan.Heat gently until the mixture is just bubbling up around the edges. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the chocolate. Leave until melted, stirring frequently until smooth. Cool, cover and chill until the icing is thick enough to hold its shape. (If needed, beat to thicken a little more.)
5. Halve or quarter the strawberries, depending on size. Beat the strawberry conserve in a bowl to loosen, add the strawberries and mix until just coated. Place one layer of cake on a plate and spread with 1/3 of the icing. Arrange 1/3 of the strawberries on top, then a second layer of cake. Continue layering, finishing with strawberries and a scattering of hazelnuts. Position the chocolate bunnies on top (if using) and keep
in a cool place until ready to serve.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in March 2021.
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