The ultimate indulgence, this heavenly fudge cake is made with buttermilk for a deliciously moist consistency and it's coated in a rich, intensely chocolatey icing.
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C and grease 2 x 20cm (8in) sandwich tins and line the bases with baking paper.
- Melt the cooking chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water, then set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, sift the cocoa, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt, then stir in the ground almonds.
- Using an electric stand, or hand-held mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the vanilla to the eggs. With the whisk running very slowly, add the egg mixture to the butter and sugar, adding 1 tbsp of the flour mixture during the process to prevent curdling, then add the melted chocolate and buttermilk.
- Very gently fold in the remaining flour mixture and divide the cake batter between the tins. Bake on the centre shelf for 30-35 minutes, or until risen and firm to the touch. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tin before turning out on to cooling racks. Once cold, remove the baking paper and slice each cake in half horizontally through the middle.
- To make the icing, melt the chocolate as before. Set aside to cool slightly, then beat together with the butter. Using a palette knife, spread evenly to sandwich the layers together and cover the top of the cake. Dust with the icing sugar, if you wish.
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