I am not a huge maker of desserts as generally we don't eat them very often. When we are having company I usually fall back on old faithfuls like cheese cake or pavlova as they always work so well, are popular and are easy to put together. On my husband's birthday I was having the family round by way of a small celebration..........well maybe not that small as there were fourteen of us. I was browsing through Nigella Lawson's "Christmas" and I spied this. It was a large cake so would be perfect and it is not so much about baking as assembly. I could not find the chocolate cakes she spoke of but used some chocolate chip muffins from my supermarket in store bakery. They worked very well. Highly recommended for a gathering when you have lots of other things to organize as it can be mad well in advance. It looks good on the table and tastes wonderful. Very rich so it stretches a long way.
3 x 350gm/12oz
300 - 400mls Tia Maria
1-2 teaspoons cocoa for dusting
23cm/9 inch spring form cake tin wrapped with cling film or foil on the outside to prevent any leaks.
For the Filling
75gms/3oz caster sugar
500gms/ 1lb 2oz mascarpone
250 mls double cream
125 mls Tia maria
Slice the cake thinly and pour the 300 mls Tia Maria into a shallow dish ready for soaking the slices as you kneed them.
Before you start layering the cakes, whisk the eggs and sugar, and then beat in the mascarpone and double cream.
Gradually add the 125 mls Tia Maria to make a creamy spreadable layer for the cake
Using approx 1 cake per layer, dunk the slices in Tia Maria before lining the tin with them.
Each layer should not be too thick but juicily compact and solid
Spread a third of the cream mixture over the soaked cake slices.
Repeat with another layer of cake and cream. Finish with a layer of cake and reserve the last third of the cream in a covered bowl.
Press the cake layer down to make it as smooth as possible, then cover it with cling film and put the fridge overnight or for up to four days.
When you are ready take the cake out of the fridge, unmould it onto a plate. Spread with the last of the cream then dust with cocoa.
The cake is too damp to take it off the tin's base but the cake is so good looking you'll never notice the base.
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