550g sugar (plus an additional 155g of sugar for the Dacquoise)
25 grams instant coffee
3 tbs hot water
10g cinnamon powder
300g self-raising flour
600g good quality dark chocolate
100ml simple syrup (see directions below – 50g sugar, 50ml water)
20g corn flour
300g diced roasted almonds
Rum to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celcius.
Cream the butter and 550g of sugar. Add 6 eggs, one at a time. Dissolve instant coffee in 3 Tbs of hot water, add to mixture. Add cinnamon powder, add ground nutmeg. Beat well.
Add 250g milk and 300g self-raising flour, mix gently to combine.
Pour into a prepared 1 x 10" pan or 2 x 8" pans, bake for 1 hour at 150 degrees.
Remove the cakes from the oven, turn oven to 120 degrees celcius.
Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning onto wire racks to cool.
While the cake is cooking prepare the ganache and the dacquoise.
Melt 600g good dark chocolate in microwave (break into small pieces)
Microwave 1 minute by 1 minute, stirring at each interval.
Heat 600g cream (just simmering). Whisk chocolate into the cream.
Add 100mL simple syrup (simple syrup is made by combining equal quantities sugar and water).
Beat 6 eggs whites until light and fluffy.
Add 155g sugar (on low speed in a mixer)
Add 20g corn flour.
Take bowl off mixing machine.
Fold in 300g diced roasted almonds.
Roll out some baking paper. Trace around the outside of a cake tin, to make 2 or 3 round circles, trace either 2 x 10" pans or 3 x 8"pans. Place baking paper circles on flat baking trays.
Spilt the dacquoise mix evenly and smooth over each piece of baking paper.
Bake each circle on a baking tray in a coolish oven (120 degrees), for 45 minutes until brown/golden.
Split the cooled cake horizontally twice. You should have three sections of cake.
With a pastry brush, paint simple syrup mixed with a little rum on the split cakes. Spread the cooled (not set) ganache thinly across cut cake surfaces, and dacquoise thus cementing the stack.
"Mask" the stack thinly with more ganache.
Put in fridge to set.When cold and set, put cake on a cooling rack on a tray.
To finish the cake, pour the cold (but liquid) ganache on cake, starting from centre spiraling out to the edge.
Use a flat knife to smooth the top, in one sweeping action around the top of the cake. Tap the rack gently as you smooth the ganache on, as this will aid the excess ganache to flow down the sides and be caught in the tray below.
Let the ganache settle.For garnish, if any gold leaf is handy use it. Or make toffee shards as per the photo.
If there is ganache left over keep in the fridge to use in hot chocolate or
to top éclairs.