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Cigarellos cake with chocolate mousse filling

(257 ratings)

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New Year chocolate cake
New Year chocolate cake
  • Serves: 8 +

  • Prep time:

    (plus 17 hours for chilling & prep)
  • Cooking time:

  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Master chef

  • Costs: Splashing out

Stuffed with chocolate and fresh fruit, this stunning cake is perfect for any celebration. But be warned: you'll need a bit of patience to make this chocolate cake

Ingredients

For the sponge:

  • 250g (9oz) ground almonds
  • 150g (5 oz) caster sugar
  • 3tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 6 egg whites
  • 3tbsp caster sugar

For the chocolate mousse:

  • 250g (9oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 250ml (9fl oz) double cream
  • 115g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes

For the syrup:

  • 115g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 50ml (2fl oz) framboise (raspberry liqueur)
  • 350g (12oz) fresh raspberries, to decorate

For the chocolate glaze:

  • 250g (9oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 250ml (9fl oz) milk
  • 55g (2oz) glucose syrup
  • 55g (2oz) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes

For the decoration:

  • White Belgian chocolate cigarellos
  • Fresh fruit (kiwis, peaches, strawberries, grapes and redcurrants, for example)
  • Apricot glaze

You can add tinned fruit to the topping if you prefer: mango works very well.

Method

  1. Butter and line a 20cm (8in) loose-bottomed cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F, gas mark 4). Combine the almonds, caster sugar and cocoa in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, then add 3tbsps caster sugar and beat for 1 min.
  2. Gently fold the egg white mixture in with the almond mixture using a spatula. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 25-35 mins, or until a metal skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Wrap in clingfilm while preparing the chocolate mousse.
  3. Finely chop the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. Pour the double cream into a pan, bring to the boil, then pour over the chocolate. Leave for a few mins, then mix together and stir in the butter. If it starts to separate, put the bowl over a pan of simmering water and beat until smooth. Cover with cling film and leave at room temperature for about 12 hours.
  4. The next day, make the syrup. Put the caster sugar and 50ml (2fl oz) water in a pan and bring to the boil. Boil for 2 mins, then leave to cool. Stir in the framboise.
  5. Beat the chocolate mousse for 5 mins with an electric mixer. Cut the cake into three layers horizontally (this isn't easy as the layers will be quite thin, so be careful). Place one layer in a 20cm (8in) cake ring and drizzle with 3-4tbsp of the syrup you made earlier. Spread a layer of mousse on top, add another layer of sponge, drizzle with syrup and cover with more mousse. Sprinkle with the raspberries (reserving around 10 of them for the top), add the rest of the mousse and top with the final layer of sponge and more syrup. Chill for about four hours.
  6. For the chocolate glaze, chop the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. Put the milk and glucose syrup in a pan and bring to the boil. Pour the glucose mixture over the chocolate and leave for 2 mins. Stir gently and add the butter. Chill for 25 mins or until the mixture has a similar consistency to thick double cream.
  7. When the cake is ready, run a hot cloth round the cake ring to soften the chocolate mousse so you can carefully remove it. Place the cake on a wire rack, pour over the glaze and smooth with a palette knife.
  8. To decorate, transfer to a cake board or plate and stick white chocolate cigarellos round the edge of the cake. Tie with a ribbon, then fill the top of the cake with fruits and berries. Spread the fruit with apricot glaze, then serve.

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