125g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 tbsp quality cocoa, sifted
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted
150g good quality chocolate
270g self-raising flour, sifted
2 tbsp crème fraiche
200g good quality dark chocolate
1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
125g icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp cocoa, sifted
3 punnets fresh raspberries
Icing sugar for dusting
300ml cream, whipped
2 tbsp amaretto liqueur
Preheat oven to 180˚C/350˚F (fan forced)
Butter and line a 22cm spring form baking tin. Set aside.
Half fill a small saucepan with water, cover with a heat-proof bowl into which you add the chocolate. Warm chocolate over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally until melted ~ don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water beneath. Remove bowl from pot and allow to cool slightly.
Whisk butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer for 5-6 minutes on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, then sifted cocoa and bicarb. Pour in the slightly cooled melted choc, continue to beat then add the milk and crème fraiche. Turn mixer speed down and add the sifted flour, beat until a thick smooth batter. Pour batter into the pre-buttered and lined tin and bake in center rack of the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out almost clean from the center of the cake. Remove and allow to cook fully before placing cake on a wire rack in preparation for icing.
To make the icing: melt chocolate in a pot over water as above in stage 2* of the cake prep. While the chocolate is melting add the icing sugar, cocoa and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle beater. Beat together until well combined then pour in the melted chocolate ~ the mixture may look very dry and crumbly and almost ‘split’ but rest assured this is fine. Add the water and milk and beat everything together gradually increasing the speed as you go until you get a thick, glossy and smooth chocolate icing.
To ice the cake, spread out 1 or 2 pieces of aluminium foil of a flat, clean surface onto which place the cake (on it’s wire rack - this method makes so super fast cleaning up!). Using an angled palette knife ice the cake using up all the frosting. Allow to stand for 10 minutes then chill in the fridge. If using raspberries, place them on the cake just before the icing is totally set so you have a bit of ‘glue’ to stop them falling off. Dust with icing sugar and serve along with the whipped cream mixed with the amaretto liqueur.
If you are not using raspberries, a good way to serve the cake is to heat it for a minute or two as the warmed cake and fudgy icing is extra good! :)