For the cake:
- 175g butter, very soft (but not melted)
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 3 free-range eggs, beaten
- 175g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp strong coffee
- 1 tbsp brandy
- 4 tbsp strong, cold coffee
- 6 tbsp brandy (or amaretto, if you prefer)
- 250g mascarpone
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- A couple of squares of good quality dark chocolate
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- A handful coffee beans (to decorate)
- Preheat your oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.
- Grease and line the bottoms of two 20cm cake tins.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, along with a tablespoon of flour to stop the mixture from splitting.
- Sift in the remaining flour and baking powder, and fold in gently.
- Carefully stir in the vanilla, coffee and brandy.
- Spoon into the cake tins and bake for 30-35 minutes, until risen and golden and the sponge springs back when pressed.
- Leave to cool in the tins for a minute or two, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Whilst the cakes are still just warm, turn them over and drizzle the undersides alternately with the coffee and 4 tbsp of the brandy.
- Place the mascarpone in a bowl, along with the icing sugar and remaining 2 tbsp brandy and beat together.
- When the cakes are cool, smooth half the mascarpone over the bottom cake.
- Finely grate the dark chocolate over the mascarpone, then sandwich the other cake on top.
- Smooth mascarpone over the top layer.
- When you’re ready to serve the cake, dust the top liberally with cocoa powder, decorate with coffee beans and stand back, to survey your masterpiece.
* If you’re a fan of lots of topping and filling, you can always double up the quantities here; in my experience it results in slightly too much to be feasible for one cake, but hey, you can always eat the rest of it on its own…
This recipe was first featured on the much-loved, much-missed Domestic Sluttery.