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Bewitched by chocolate: Mary Berry’s heavenly cake recipe is pure paradise

This wicked, indulgent cake from Mary’s new book ‘Love to Cook’ is perfect for chocoholics. Who said the kids are the only ones who deserve devilish treats tonight?

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Paradise chocolate cake extracted from 'Love to Cook' by Mary Berry (BBC Books, £26). Photography by Laura Edwards

Paradise chocolate cake extracted from 'Love to Cook' by Mary Berry (BBC Books, £26). Photography by Laura Edwards

'Love to Cook' by Mary Berry (BBC Books, £26)

'Love to Cook' by Mary Berry (BBC Books, £26)

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Paradise chocolate cake extracted from 'Love to Cook' by Mary Berry (BBC Books, £26). Photography by Laura Edwards

Serves 8

Paradise chocolate cake

You will need:
120g (4½oz) Bournville dark chocolate, broken into pieces
30g (1¼oz) cocoa powder, sifted
4 tbsp boiling water
200g (7oz) baking spread (a butter substitute), straight from the fridge, plus extra for greasing
3 large eggs
100g (4oz) caster sugar
100g (4oz) light muscovado sugar
175g (6oz) self-raising flour
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp apricot jam, warmed

For the ganache icing, you will need:
200g (7oz) double cream
200g (7oz) Bournville
dark chocolate, broken into pieces

To decorate, you will need:
100g (4oz) Bournville dark chocolate
200g (7oz) Belgian continental white chocolate
Icing sugar, to dust

Preheat the oven to 160C, 140C fan, Gas 3. Grease and base line a 20cm (8in) deep cake tin and place a piece of non-stick baking paper on a baking sheet.

2 To make the cake, place the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir gently until the chocolate has just melted. Set aside to cool.

3 Place the cocoa powder in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water and mix to a smooth paste. Add the baking spread, eggs, sugars, flour, milk and melted chocolate and whisk using an electric whisk for 2 minutes, until light and smooth. 

4 Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface. Bake in the oven for 1-1¼ hours, until well risen and coming away from the sides of the tin. Expect a crack on the top, like a brownie. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully remove and finish cooling on a wire rack. 

5 To make the ganache icing, measure the cream into a saucepan and heat until simmering. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until melted, then set aside in a cool place to thicken to a spreadable consistency.

6 Brush the top and sides of the cake with the warmed apricot jam, then spread the ganache over. Use a palette knife to smooth the edges. Leave to set for about 2 hours.

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7 To make the decoration, break the dark chocolate into one bowl and the white chocolate into another. Set each bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bases of the bowls do not touch the water. Stir gently until just melted. Spread the white chocolate on to the prepared baking sheet and use the back of a spoon to make a thin rectangle about 25cm x 18cm (10in x 7in). Using another spoon, drizzle the dark chocolate over the white chocolate to make a zig-zag pattern. Place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

8 Once the chocolate is hard, slice into wedges and stand them vertically on the cake. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Extracted from ‘Love to Cook’ by Mary Berry, with photography by Laura Edwards, published by BBC Books at £26

Mary’s tips

  • Can be made a day ahead and iced on the day.
  • Un-iced cake freezes well.

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