1 cup fresh vanilla custard ***(I made the custard myself, using the recipe below, the night before)
¼ cup golden superfine sugar
3½ oz/100 g semisweet chocolate, grated
Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC. To make the cake, grease an 8-inch/20-cm round cake pan with butter and line with parchment paper. Place the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat together until thick and light. Sift the flour and unsweetened cocoa over the batter and fold in gently. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed gently in the center. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.
Place the black coffee and rum in a bowl or cup, mix together, and set aside. To make the filling, place the mascarpone in a large bowl and beat until soft. Stir in the custard, then gradually add the sugar, beating constantly. Stir in the grated chocolate.
Cut the cake horizontally into 3 layers and place 1 layer on a serving plate. Sprinkle with one-third of the coffee mixture, then cover with one-third of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat the layers, finishing with a topping of the mascarpone mixture. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Sift over the unsweetened cocoa before serving.
*Variation: To save time, use ladyfingers instead of cake. Dip the ladyfingers in coffee and layer them with the mascarpone mixture in a bowl.
***Recipe for “Real Proper Custard” (by Mary Berry from Saturday Kitchen)
55 ml/2 fl oz single cream (I used heavy whipping cream)
1 vanilla pod or ½ tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, YOLKS only
30 g/1 oz caster sugar (superfine sugar)
2 level tsp cornflour (aka cornstarch)
Bring the milk, cream, and vanilla pod to simmering point slowly over low heat. Remove the vanilla pod (wash the vanilla pod, dry, and store in jar with caster sugar to make vanilla sugar). Whisk the yolks, sugar, and cornflour together in a bowl until well blended. Pour the hot milk and cream on to the eggs and sugar, whisking all the time with a balloon whisk. Return to the pan, (add vanilla extract if using) and over low heat gently stir with a wooden spatula until thickened. Pour the custard into a jug and serve at once. To keep hot, stand the jug in a pan of hot water and cover the top with cling film to prevent skin forming.
You’ve probably been mispronouncing mascarpone… we were!
Mascarpone pronunciation: mäskärˈpōn(e)
*Custard tips for success (found at crafty baking.com)
-Only heat the cream or cream and milk in a medium saucepan over low heat until scalded (you’ll see small bubbles on the sides of the pan). Don’t try to hurry the process by turning up the heat.
-Refrigerate. Before refrigerating just cooked custard, let it cool about 5-10 minutes and then cover it with plastic wrap. Make sure it touches the surface of the custard to prevent the milk proteins from forming a thin crust on top when refrigerated. Pierce a piece of plastic wrap large enough to cover the custard, in about a dozen places with a toothpick (or the tip of a sharp knife); place pierced plastic wrap directly onto surface and refrigerate to set.
If you accidentally overcook your custard slightly and it becomes a bit lumpy, while it’s still hot, use an immersion blender to smooth it out again.