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Serves 12

INGREDIENTS:

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
5 oz. self-rising flour, sifted
5 oz. all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda, sifted
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. white sugar
1 lb. 5 oz. butter
9 eggs
1 tsp. coffee essence
8 fl.oz. sour cream
4 fl.oz. boiling water
8 fl.oz. whipping cream
9 oz. soft brown sugar
1 lb. bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1 1/2 tbsp. instant cappuccino coffee powder

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Melt 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate in a bowl over boiling water. Remove from heat when completely melted.

Using a food processor, beat 4 eggs to a soft peak. Add flours, bicarbonate of soda, salt, white sugar, and 3 oz. butter. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add melted chocolate, coffee essence, and sour cream. Beat until well mixed.

Pour mixture into two 9-inch shallow cake pans. Bake for 1 hour or until cake top bounces back with a little pressure. Allow to cool in pans and turn out to completely cool on a wire rack.

In a pan, combine whipping cream, 1 oz. butter, 1 oz. brown sugar, 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, and 1 tbsp. cappuccino powder. Bring to a boil, whisking until chocolate has melted. Chill in fridge for 1/2 hour until thickened.

Melt all remaining bittersweet chocolate with remaining cappuccino powder, brown sugar, and butter. Whisk in eggs vigorously and remove from heat when chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Using a food processor, blend chocolate mixture until stiff. Chill until needed.

Slice each cake horizontally and sandwich all pieces together with the second lot of chocolate mixture. Press cakes lightly to ensure even distribution.

Using a flat knife or palette knife, spread 1/3 of first chocolate mixture over top and sides of cake. Using a large star nozzle, pipe remaining mixture on to top of cake. Chill for 1/2 hour. Serve cold with hot coffee or tea. Alternately serve as a birthday cake or a dessert for a buffet with friends.