The topping for this delicious chocolate cake recipe sets fast so, if you need to, smooth with a hot, wet palette knife
- 300g (10oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 300g (10oz) golden caster sugar
- 5 large free-range eggs, beaten
- 125g (4½oz) self-raising flour
- 125g (4½oz) ground almonds
- 75g (3oz) good-quality cocoa powder
- 1tsp baking powder
- 200ml (7fl oz) milk
- crystallised rose petal (see tip below)
- 200g (7oz) golden caster sugar
- 700g (1lb 9oz) dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 x 19cm (7½in) sandwich tins, oiled and bottom-lined, edges dusted with cocoa
To crystallise petals and leaves, gently whisk an egg white until foamy. Brush a very thin layer onto your petal or leaf, then dust with caster sugar. Leave on baking parchment to dry completely and keep in an airtight container, out of the fridge, until needed.
Heat the oven to 180 C, 160 C fan, 350 F, gas 4. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs; fold in the flour, almonds, cocoa, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Stir in milk; divide mix between the tins. Bake for 40 minutes, remove from oven; cool in tin for 5 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.
For the frosting, put the sugar and 200ml (7fl oz) water in a large pan. Bubble for 5 minutes, until you have a light syrup. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, whisk until smooth, then cool for 30 minutes.
To assemble, cut both cakes in half horizontally. Spread the cut-side up half of one cake with a little frosting. Repeat with the rest of the layers, stack on top of each other and finish with the top half of one cake. Use the remaining frosting to cover the sides and top. Decorate with rose petals.