This chocolate delice is a decadent layered chocolate dessert from a revered French pastry shop, La Maison du Chocolat. Use some really good-quality chocolate that is now readily available and you will have a dessert worthy of celebrating. Happy baking!
100g almond meal
100g icing sugar, sifted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tbsp castor sugar
Pinch of salt
250ml thickened cream
500g bittersweet chocolate
100g dark chocolate (70%)
2-3 tbsp whipped cream
Preheat oven to 190C fan forced. Line a 26 x 39cm swiss roll tin with baking paper.
Mix almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa in a bowl.
Beat egg whites until frothy, then add sugar and salt and continue to beat until whites form stiff peaks. Use a spatula to gently fold the almond cocoa mixture through the egg whites.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin, spreading it evenly.
Bake until cake springs back when pressed in the centre, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in tin on a wire rack. Refrigerate the cake to firm it up.
To make ganache, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave on medium power. Cool melted chocolate to room temperature.
Whip the cream until soft peak stage. Reserve 2-3 tablespoons of cream for the icing. Mix the cooled, melted chocolate with the whipped cream. Continue to whip to thicken the mixture to soft peak stage.
Cut cake crosswise into three equal pieces. Trim the edges to neaten. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread a thick layer of ganache over the cake.
Lay a second layer of cake over the ganache and top with another thick layer of ganache. Repeat with another layer of cake.
Refrigerate the cake briefly to firm up the ganache slightly. Smooth the sides gently. Refrigerate the cake for a few hours (or overnight).
For icing, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave on medium power. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in the whipped reserved cream. Using a spatula, spread over the cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Remove from fridge 20-30 minutes before serving.