Chocolate Sponge Layer Cake. A decadent cake made with lashings of delicious marscapone, perfect for afternoon tea.
600g dark chocolate, chopped
300ml pouring cream
750ml Tatua mascarpone
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
¾ cup icing sugar, sifted
¾ cup pouring cream
12 eggs, at room temperature
160g brown sugar
160g caster sugar
300g plain flour, triple sifted
¼ tsp baking powder, sifted
30g Dutch cocoa
120g butter, melted
1 punnet strawberries, halved
To make ganache, place chocolate and prepared coffee in a large, heatproof bowl. In a saucepan, heat cream over high heat until just boiling. Pour in chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool at room temperature for 2 hours.
For vanilla mascarpone, whisk mascarpone, vanilla seeds, icing sugar and cream until mixture holds soft peaks. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Line the base of two 20cm sponge-cake tins with baking paper, then butter and flour them. To make sponge, preheat oven to 180°C. Beat eggs and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer for 10-12 minutes or until tripled in volume. Add flour and baking powder in 2 batches, and gently fold to combine.
Whisk together cocoa and melted butter. Add to egg mixture and fold gently to combine. Divide between tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly before turning out on a wire rack to cool.
To serve, cut each sponge in half, spread with one-third of mascarpone mixture and one-quarter of ganache. Repeat with remaining cake layers and filling.
Melt remaining ganache, pour over top of sponge, and top with fresh strawberry halves.