With the rich flavours of chocolate, Amaretto and coffee, this Italian classic is pure indulgence
- For the sponge base:
- 2 medium eggs
- 60g (2oz) caster sugar
- 60g (2oz) plain flour
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 30g (1oz) butter, melted
- 2 tbsp strong black coffee
- 3 tbsp Amaretto
- For the marscapone layer:
- 142ml carton double cream
- 200g bar plain chocolate
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 2 x 250g cartons mascarpone
- For the topping:
- 284ml carton double cream
- Cocoa powder, for dusting
- 20cm (8in) round spring-clip tin, lined with baking parchment
- Large piping bag fitted with 1cm (½ in) plain piping tube
Set the oven to moderate, 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). To make the base: Whisk the eggs and sugar together, preferably using an electric whisk, until the mixture is very thick and foamy and leaves a trail when the whisk is lifted out.
Sift the flour and cocoa over the top and pour the butter around the edge of the bowl. Carefully fold in and then pour the mixture into the lined tin. Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 mins, or until it springs back when lightly pressed in the centre.
Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin. Drizzle the coffee and Amaretto over the sponge base, still in tin.
To make the mascarpone layer: Bring the cream to the boil. Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate and leave until the chocolate melts. Stir in the vanilla extract. Do not over-stir or the mixture will separate. Leave the mixture to cool and thicken. Beat the mascarpone to soften it, then beat in the chocolate mixture.
Pour the mixture over the sponge base and spread it out using a palette knife. Chill the cake in the fridge for at least 4 hrs, or overnight, until the filling is firm.
To make the topping: Lightly whip the double cream and fill the piping bag. Pipe balls of cream all over the top of the cake. Keep chilled until serving, and give the cake a light dusting of cocoa powder before serving.
The base and mascarpone layers may be prepared the day before, but decorate with the cream on the day of serving.