Vegetarian recipe ideas
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Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Lightly butter a 900g loaf tin and line with a strip of baking paper so the excess hangs over the side.
To make the cake put the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, salt and sugar into a sieve and sift through into a large bowl, whisking together until evenly combined – sifting helps to remove any of the lumps that sometime form in good-quality, higher-fat cocoa powders.
Pour in the butter, cream and coffee into a large jug, and whisk to combine. Add the egg whites and whisk again.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the butter mixture. Whisk briefly just until the batter is smooth and combined. Scrape into the prepared tin and level out.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes in the tin before using the paper to lift onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the buttercream, put the butter into a bowl and use an electric mixer to beat for 5 minutes or until light and pale. With the mixer still running, slowly pour in the condensed milk a little at a time, beating until smooth and uniform before adding more. Mix in the vanilla – you should now have a light and fluffy buttercream texture.
To assemble the cake, use a serrated knife to carefully slice the cake into three thin layers. Put the bottom layer on a serving plate and brush liberally with coffee, allowing it to soak in for a minute before spreading over a thin layer of the buttercream. Repeat with the second and third layers, finishing by spreading the remaining buttercream over the top and sides of the cake in a thin, naked-cake-style, layer. Put the cake in the fridge for 1 hour or until the buttercream is firm.
When the cake is chilled make the glaze. Put the ingredients into a small pan and, over a very low heat, stirring constantly, heat until a smooth sauce-like texture has formed. Making the ganache in the pan like this is fine as long as you are careful to keep the temperature low and stir constantly to avoid the chocolate catching. Otherwise put all the ingredients in a heatproof jug and microwave in short bursts, stirring in between, until the chocolate has melted. Set the ganache aside for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture is no longer hot but still liquid. Remove the cake from the fridge and pour over the ganache, teasing it to the edges so the excess drips down the sides. Set aside for a few minutes for the ganache to firm slightly and then serve. The cake will keep for three days in an airtight container.