Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
butter, softened, for greasing
125 g (41/2 oz) caster sugar
125 g (41/2 oz) plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
1.5 tsp baking powder
50 g (2oz) white chocolate, as chips or chopped into pieces
chocolate curls, made using either dark, milk or white chocolate or a mixture, to decorate
for the ganache
300 ml (11 fl oz) double or regular cream
45 g (11/2 oz) glucose syrup
400 g (14 oz) white chocolate, in drops or broken into pieces
75 g (3oz) butter, softened and cut into 2cm (3/4 in) cubes
First make the ganache. Place the cream and glucose syrup in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, then immediately remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate.
Stir to melt the chocolate – you may need to place it back over a low heat, just so all the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until tepid.
Add the butter to the melted chocolate, a few cubes at a time, beating the mixture until all the butter has been incorporated. Leave in the fridge for about 2 hours, stirring a couple of times as it cools. It should stiffen but still be spreadable.
Make sure to take the ganache out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before icing the cake. It may be necessary to beat the mixture with a wooden spoon to make it spread more easily. While the ganache is cooling, you can make the cakes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Butter the sides of the cake tins and dust with flour, then line each base with a disc of baking parchment.
Using a hand-held electric beater or an electric food mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar together on a high speed for several minutes or until light and mousse-like.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and chocolate pieces, then fold into the egg and sugar mixture. Divide the batter between the prepared tins and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden on top and lightly springy to the touch.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then loosen around the edges using a small, sharp knife. Carefully remove each cake before transferring to a wire rack to cool down fully.
When the cakes are cool, place one upside down on a cake plate or stand, then spread over some of the ganache to about 4–5mm (1?4in) thick.
Place the second cake on top the right way up and use the rest of the ganache to cover the cake completely. Using a palette knife or the back of a spoon, lightly flick the ganache to make peaks all over the cake.
If you prefer, you can simply smooth the cake with a palette knife, dipping it from time to time into a jug or bowl of boiling-hot water. Now you can decorate your cake, selecting one of the options below, if you like. You could otherwise leave the cake undecorated, or scatter with chocolate curls, either in white or contrasting milk or dark chocolate.