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Mary Berry’s Paradise Chocolate Cake

Decorated with chocolate shards and layered with a rich ganache, this paradise chocolate cake from Mary Berry is a bake to impress.

From the book

Mary Berry


This is one of those wicked, indulgent cakes that is perfect for chocoholics!

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120g (4½oz) Bournville dark chocolate, broken into pieces
30g (1¼ oz) cocoa powder, sifted
4 tbsp boiling water
200g (7oz) baking spread, straight from the fridge, plus extra for greasing
3 large eggs
100g (4oz) caster sugar
100g (4oz) light muscovado sugar
175g (6oz) self-raising flour
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp apricot jam, warmed
For the ganache icing:
200g (7oz) double cream
200g (7oz) Bournville dark chocolate, broken into pieces
For the decoration:
100g (4oz) Bournville dark chocolate
200g (7oz) Belgian continental white chocolate
icing sugar, to dust

Essential kit

You will need: a 20cm (8in) deep cake tin and an electric whisk.


Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/Gas 3. Grease and base line a 20cm (8in) deep cake tin and place a piece of non-stick baking paper on a baking sheet.

To make the cake, place the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir gently until the chocolate has just melted. Set aside to cool.

Place the cocoa powder in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water and mix to a smooth paste. Add the baking spread, eggs, sugars, flour, milk and melted chocolate and whisk using an electric whisk for 2 minutes, until light and smooth.

Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface. Bake in the oven for 1–11/4 hours, until well risen and coming away from the sides of the tin. Expect a crack on the top like a brownie. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully remove and finish cooling on a wire rack.

To make the ganache icing, measure the cream into a saucepan and heat until simmering. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until melted, then set aside in a cool place to thicken to a spreadable consistency.

Brush the top and sides of the cake with the warmed apricot jam, then spread the ganache over. Use a palette knife to smooth the edges. Leave to set for about 2 hours.

To make the decoration, break the dark chocolate into one bowl and the white chocolate into another. Set each bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowls do not touch the water. Stir gently until just melted. Spread the white chocolate on to the prepared baking sheet and use the back of a spoon to make a thin rectangle about 25 × 18cm (10 × 7in). Using another spoon, drizzle the dark chocolate over the white chocolate to make a zig zag pattern. Place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Once the chocolate is hard, slice into wedges and stand them vertically on the cake. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Mary’s tips:

Can be made a day ahead and iced on the day.

Un-iced cake freezes well.

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From the book: Love to Cook

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