Ingredients (serves 12)
300g quality dark chocolate 70%
¼ cup Pedro Ximenez
¾ brown sugar
½ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
6 eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup plain flour
200g dark chocolate 70%, finely chopped
200ml thickened cream
30ml Pedro Ximenez
- Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F) fan-forced. Grease and line a 20cm (8 inch) cake pan. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla paste in an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- While that is mixing melt chocolate, either gradually in the microwave or over a double boiler once melted, add Pedro Ximenez and mix through and set aside.
- Add eggs and flour alternately to the butter mixture, mixing well after each addition, (don’t worry if the mixture breaks it will come together when you mix the chocolate through). Carefully fold in the melted chocolate and mix to combine. Pour into the prepared cake pan and level the top. Bake for 50-55 minutes on the centre shelf of the oven or until a wooden skewer inserted comes out clean. Let the cake stand in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack, cool completely before frosting.
- For the ganache, place cream and Pedro Ximenez in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until just before boiling point, (do not boil). Remove from heat and add chocolate, stand for 3 minutes before stirring to mix through until smooth and glossy, (do not over mix the ganache). Place in the fridge to chill (about 10-15 minutets) until the ganache thickens enough that you can decorate the cake.
- Place cake on a serving plate and using a palette knife spread the ganache over the top and sides of the cooled cake. You can either choose to make it smooth or make peaks on the top.
Serve the cake at room temperature (the flavours are better this way), with a dollop of double cream or ice-cream; I decided to add double chocolate ice-cream, a delicious combination.
Pedro Ximenez is sherry and is at most liquor stores or you can substitute with another sherry. You can choose to not add the alcohol if preferred.