Raspberry Rose Chocolate Cake

I developed this stunning chocolate cake recipe for my lovely client, Fred & Bex - I'd thoroughly recommend their fabulous fruity vinegars for sweet and savoury recipes. I've used their raspberry vinegar to flavour the pale pink buttercream in the centre of the cake, but if you haven't gotten hold of any, you could just flavour it with crushed raspberries. The dark chocolate cake is made with ground almonds instead of flour, so that it’s really moist, and the richness is perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the buttercream.

Ingredients

For the cake:
250g dark chocolate
100g butter
6 eggs
75g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
For the buttercream:
150g margarine
100g icing sugar
1 tbsp Fred & Bex raspberry vinegar
A few drops of pink food colouring (optional)
To decorate:
Pink sugar crystals
Rose petals

Preheat the oven to 180°C (170°C fan). Start by breaking up the chocolate, and place in a bowl with the butter. Microwave in thirty second bursts, stirring each time, until both ingredients have melted and you have a lovely silky mixture. Set aside.

Next, separate the eggs, and beat the yolks with the sugar until pale yellow. Add the ground almonds and the melted butter and chocolate, and stir well.

Now, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed, and then carefully fold them into the chocolate mixture. Divide between two sandwich tins, greased and lined with paper on the bottom, then place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

When the time’s up, test the middle of each cake with a skewer, then allow to cool for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to go completely cold.

When you’re ready to decorate, make the buttercream icing by simply beating all the ingredients together until you have a smooth mixture. You don’t have to add food colouring if you don’t fancy it, but the vinegar doesn’t give the icing any colour, so I think it’s nice to make it pink. Spread neatly on top of one cake, and then sandwich with the other one. Sprinkle the top with sugar and rose petals, and serve with tea in your prettiest china.