Loving chocolate is not a sin, so why feel guilty about this little pleasure and deny ourselves one of the worlds most ancient and greatest foods! It was once eaten by the Maya and Aztec cultures in religious ceremonies, and a little in moderation does your heart good…..literally!
Dark cacao, over 70% is seemingly linked to lowering blood pressure and contains a high level of antioxidants!
There is an old saying: ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’ and this cake is a pure comforting treat for the soul. Choose the best quality chocolate, over 70% and use unsalted butter if possible.
The variations are endless, try orange segments instead of strawberries and add juice & zest to the buttercream instead of cocoa. Coffee essence either works great with chocolate.
The sponge alone freezes very well and the cake holds and keeps in the fridge for up to four days.
200g plain flour
150g golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of bread soda
2 tablespoons cacao powder
150g unsalted butter/margarine
pinch sea-salt if using butter
3 free-range eggs
130g dark chocolate
5 tablespoons strawberry jam/preserve
as many fresh/frozen strawberries as you wish
150g soft margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
250g icing sugar/confectioners sugar
11/2 tablespoons cacao powder
30g melted dark chocolate
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, or in a bowl over a saucepan simmering with hot water, not letting the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Alternatively melt in a microwave. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line two sandwich tins. Sift the dry ingredients together.
Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale. Whisk the eggs lightly and add slowly to the mixture beating continuously. With a spatula fold in the melted chocolate mixing well. Add the sifted dry ingredients mixing gently.
Divide between the sandwich tins and bake for 30 minutes approximately. Cool in the tins for ten minutes before turning out. Decorate when completely cold.
Make the chocolate buttercream; melt the chocolate as above and beat the butter/margarine until softened. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa. Add the melted chocolate then the sugar and cocoa and mix well.
Spread the strawberry jam over one side of the cake and add as many sliced strawberries as you wish. Spread half the chocolate buttercream mixture on the other side of the cake and sandwich together. Fill a piping bag with the rest of the buttercream and decorate as you please, piling strawberries on top.
‘Biochemically, love is just like eating large amounts of chocolate’
– John Milton ‘The Devils Advocate’