James Tanner helps a busy mum create a simply delicious rich chocolate cake - perfect for the weekend!
200g half-coated triple chocolate cookies
40g unsalted butter, melted
225g of plain 50% cocoa chocolate, buttons or chopped up block/bar
300ml whipping cream
2 dessert spoons of bourbon whisky, optional
1 tsp instant coffee, optional
Seeds from half a vanilla pod or a drop of vanilla extract
1 tbsp good quality cocoa powder
1 tsp icing sugar
Blueberries or raspberries
You will need: 1 20cm/8 inch loose bottomed deep cake tin lined with baking parchment
*This cake will need to chill for 3-4 hours in the fridge before eating.*
1. First make your cookie base, put the cookies in a bowl or plastic food bag and smash up to rough crumbs.
2. Melt the butter, stir into the smashed up cookies, mix well and cover the base of the cake tin, push down well so you have an even layer.
3. Next heat a half-filled medium sauce pan of water to a gentle simmer, place the chocolate into a heat proof bowl and place on top to melt making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Do not keep stirring the chocolate, let it melt slowly and when ready give it a quick stir to combine then remove off the heat.
4.Whip the cream only to a half whipped stage then fold the chocolate into the cream until totally combined. If you choose to add alcohol and coffee now's the time. To add it simply heat the whisky until just warm, stir the coffee in to dissolve then fold into the chocolate mix. Place mixture over your set cookie base making sure you fill all around the edges, tap the cake tin a few times on the work top to knock out any air then flatten the top with a spatula and chill in the fridge to set for 3-4 hours.
5. Remove from fridge and tin, leave out at room temp for ten minutes and peel off the outside ring of parchment paper, dust with the cocoa powder and mix the vanilla seeds or extract with the icing sugar and mascarpone and pipe or spoon onto the cake and decorate with your chosen fruit.
6. To cut the cake leave a knife to stand in a jug of boiling water so the blade is hot! Wipe any excess water off the blade of the knife and portion up the cake.