This cake contains three of the compulsive food sins.
Caffeine, Chocolate and Alcohol.
The good news is that it only takes around half an hour to prepare, an hour to cook, six hours for the topping to set, serves 12 and only adds two inches to a waistline per serve.
Oh, that last one may not be good news.
Ingredients (serves 12)
1 1/3 cups (330ml) freshly brewed espresso
200g dark chocolate
2/3 cup (160ml) Marsala
250g butter, chopped
2 cups (400g) brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
1/2 cup (75g) self-raising flour
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup (250ml) thickened cream
1/4 cup (45g) icing sugar mixture
1 cup (240ml) Marsala, extra
Icing sugar, to dust
Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease and line the base and sides of two 10x25cm loaf pans with baking paper.
Combine the coffee, chocolate, Marsala and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until chocolate and butter melt and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes to cool.
Add the sugar and stir to combine. Sift the combined flours over the chocolate mixture and use a balloon whisk to stir to combine. Add the egg and stir to combine. Pour evenly among the prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.
Use an electric mixer to whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Combine the mascarpone, icing sugar and 1/4 of the extra Marsala in a medium bowl. Add cream and gently fold until just combined.
Drink the remaining Marsala.
Use a large serrated knife to level the top of each cake. Cut each mud cake into 3 even layers. Line each loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing the sides to overhang. Place the bottom layer of each cake in the base of the lined pans. Spoon half the mascarpone mixture over and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Continue layering with remaining cake and mascarpone mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 6 hours to set.
250g punnet strawberries, washed, hulled
2 x 150g punnets raspberries
2 x 120g punnets blueberries
1 tbs icing sugar mixture
1/2 cup (120ml) Grande Marnier
Combine the strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, icing sugar and half of the liqueur in a glass or ceramic bowl. Set aside for 1 hour to macerate.
Drink the remaining liqueur.
Turn the mud cake out, top-side down, onto a serving platter. Use a sharp knife to trim the edges. Dust with icing sugar.
Spoon the berries over the top.
Cut into slices to serve. One slice for Aunt Heather, one slice for me, one slice for Cousin Jilly, one slice for me, one slice for Aunt Margaret, one shlice for me. Must shave, umm, keep shome of the resht for tomorrowow. (Polite hic!)