This is a lovely light, moist chocolate cake, not a heavy chocolate cake like a mud cake. Filled and covered with chocolate ganache this cake is perfect for birhtday cakes. It is a generous cake so you will need a large tin for baking.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Line a large cake tin (22 cm) with baking paper by cutting a circle for the base and a strip for the sides.
Put the boiling water, chopped chocolate and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Leave to cool.
Cream the butter and sugar until light in colour and fluffy, add the egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
Add the chocolate mixture a little at a time into the creamed mixture beating it until smooth. You will find that this will all be absorbed until you have a very light and fluffy mix.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder and fold in to the creamed chocolate mixture alternately with the sour cream, mixing lightly until just combined.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff.
Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture with a large spoon. Do not beat or you will remove the air needed for the cake to rise.
Turn gently into prepared tin and bake for 1 to 1.25 hours, or until cooked when tested with a fine skewer.
Leave for a minute, before turning out to cool on a wire rack.
Chocolate Ganache (I used two quantities to fill and cover)
Put the chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl (eg. stainless steel) over a saucepan of barely simmering water. (don’t let the base of the bowl sit in the water and don’t boil the water – it must just simmer). Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Remove from the heat leave to cool, then beat lightly until thick enough to spread or pipe.
To Assemble the cake as pictured:
With a long serated edge knife cut the cake into 3 layers. Spread ganache on each of the layers.
Then spread ganache on the sides of the cake and carefully press toasted almond flakes into the ganache.
Spread ganache on the top of the cake and smooth with a large spatula.
Pipe ganache rosettes around the perimeter of the top of the cake and decorate with glace cherries or fresh strawberries.
Use dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids in cake and ganache for the best taste. I've also tested this recipe with white chocolate and it is just as moist and light.