2 heaped teaspoons Instant Coffee (dissolved in a tiny amount of boiling water)
3 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
250g Caster Sugar
30g Walnuts (Finely Ground)
100g Walnuts (Roughly chopped)
200g Dark Chocolate
200ml Double or whipping cream
8 Walnut halves
Pre-heat the oven to 170C
Butter and line an 8inch springform cake tin,
Break the chocolate into pieces and melt with the butter in a microwave using 30 second bursts and stirring regularly. Or, if you prefer, melt over a pan of simmering water.
Mix the cocoa powder and the coffee into the chocolate, stir well and set to one side
Put all the eggs and sugar into a stand mixer and beat on full power for around 5 minutes till the mixture turns a light creamy colour and thickens
Fold the ground and chopped walnuts gently into the mixture. Then, fold in the chocolate mixture (which should be cool by now). Do this very carefully until everything is an even colour.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 40 minutes till the top of the cake is dry.
Turn the oven off and leave the door slightly ajar. Let the cake cool completely in it's tin in the oven.
Once the cake is cool, remove it from the tin and place it on a wire tray
To make ganache, break the remaining chocolate into small pieces
Heat the cream in a small pan, or in a glass jug in the microwave till you can just see bubbles starting to form, but it hasn't boiled.
Stir the cream into the chocolate and continue to stir gently till all the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the ganache, which should be thick and shiny. I tend to use a small balloon whisk for this, but I don't actually BEAT, just stir very very gently.
Leave to cool for about 30 minutes to an hour till still liquid but not hot.
At this stage, I tried putting what is called a 'crumb' layer on the cake. First press the top of the cake down gently so it is level. Then, smooth a very thin layer of ganache over the cake and put the whole thing in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Pour all the remaining ganache onto the cake and using a palate knife, smooth it over the top of the cake and round the sides.
Decorate with walnut halves
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