This is a great recipe for an easy, foolproof chocolate cake which comes from a combination of a classic Victoria sandwich and mascarpone, a great Italian classic in scrumptious desserts.
6 tablespoons of cocoa powder
3 tablespoons of boiling water
225 g of softened unsalted butter
225 g of caster sugar
4 large eggs
225 g of self-raising flour
2 level teaspoons of baking powder
500 g of mascarpone
200 g of dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
1 tablespoon of icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. With a little knob of butter grease the base of 2 X 20 cm (8 in) sandwich tins.
Blend the cocoa powder and water in a mixing bowl using a fork until there are no lumps and you get a smooth paste.
Add the softened butter and sugar. Using an electric whisk mix for 3-4 minutes until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Little by little sift in the flour and baking powder, beating until smooth and thoroughly blended.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tins, give a gentle shake and spread it evenly levelling the top with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 35 minutes until well risen, and firm to the touch. A skewer inserted into the middle of the cake will come out clean when the cake is cooked. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then finish cooling on a wire rack.
For the icing, melt 150 g of chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Set aside and cool for about 10-15 minutes. In a separate bowl, cream the mascarpone and icing sugar until smooth, then beat in the melted chocolate. If the icing is too soft, chill it for 10 minutes.
Using a spatula spread the top of one cake with the icing, sit the second cake on top and cover the whole cake with the remaining icing.
Place the remaining 50 g of chocolate in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin into 1⁄2-inch pieces. Scat them on top if you like and then serve.
Serve it with a nice glass of Banyuls, Grenache-based fortified wine which is a classic companion to semi-sweet or dark chocolate desserts.