Chocolate Celebration Cake

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A decadent chocolate cake best enjoyed with many guests!

Chocolate Celebration Cake

Chocolate cakes (recipe below)
Chocolate mousse (recipe below)
Chocolate shards (recipe below)
Raspberry jam (optional)
Gold leaf*
Candles**
Raspberries, approx. 1.5 punnets

Chocolate cakes

3 cups plain flour
6 tbsp cocoa
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
200g (6.6oz) dark chocolate (either chips or finely chopped)
2 tsps vinegar
2 tsps vanilla
1/2 cup + 2 tbsps vegetable oil
2 cups water
Liqueur, such as Cointreau or Kahlua (optional).

Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line three 20cm (8inch) cake tins***.

Place the first six ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and add the vinegar, vanilla, oil, and water. Gently fold the mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the cake tins and bake for approx 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven. If you are using liqueur, then pierce the cakes all over with a skewer and brush the liqueur over the top. Allow to cool thoroughly before assembling the cake.

The cakes may be made ahead of time. They keep well in an air-tight container.

Chocolate mousse

200g dark chocolate
160ml (or grams) of water

This is very quick to make so it’s imperative that everything is ready before you start. Place some ice cubes and water in a large bowl and place a smaller bowl inside of this (the mousse will be whisked in this smaller bowl). Have a rubber spatula and whisk ready (an electric whisk is highly recommended).

Place the chocolate and water in a small saucepan and melt over a lowish heat, stirring with the spatula, until only just melted and smooth. Pour into the chilled bowl and whisk! whisk! whisk! The mousse will thicken as it cools; whisk until it forms thick soft ribbons.

The mousse may be made ahead of time; just remember to remove it from the fridge at least 20 minutes before assembling the cake.

Chocolate shards

150g dark chocolate

Melt the chocolate either using a double-boiler or in a microwave. Spread into a thin layer onto two trays lined with baking paper. Lay another piece of baking paper on top of each and smooth. Place in the fridge to set.

To Assemble

Place one cake onto a cake board or stand. Spread a thin layer of jam over the top (warming the jam briefly in the microwave makes it much easier to spread). Then spread a thin layer of chocolate mousse over the top. Repeat. Add the last cake on top. Cover all over with the remaining chocolate mousse.

Remove the chocolate shards from the fridge. Gently roll the baking paper to snap the chocolate. The gold leaf may be added by simply dabbing a piece of chocolate onto the edge of the gold leaf sheet; a small piece will attach to the chocolate and break away from the sheet. A delicate hand is needed for this! Gently press the chocolate onto the side of the cake. Repeat with the rest of the chocolate.

Add the candles and raspberries to the top of the cake and enjoy!

* Edible gold leaf is available from some specialty food stores and cake decorating shops. I purchased mine from Executive Chef It was quite some time ago! I think it was about $5/sheet.

** These candles are so pretty! I bought them from Woolworths for $3.

*** The cakes can be cooked in two 20cm (8inch) cake tins; the cooking time will be closer to 30 minutes.

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