8 - 10 people
- 450 g Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 625 ml water
- 300 g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 175 g butter, at room temperature
- 200 g caster sugar
- 65 g brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 175 g Lindt EXCELLENCE 85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate, chopped
- For the vanilla meringue buttercream:
- 4 large egg whites
- 250 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 285 g unsalted butter, diced
- For the chocolate-caramel drizzle:
- 250 g caster sugar
- 60 ml water
- 175 ml double cream
- 80 g Lindt EXCELLENCE 85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate, chopped
- Pinch of salt
- To decorate:
- White and Dark Chocolate LINDOR Truffles
- Lindt Gold Milk Chocolate or LINDOR Chocolate Bars, chopped
Preheat the oven to 180C/160 Fan/Gas 4. Grease 3 x 18cm/7-inch round springform cake tins and set aside.
Tip the dates into a small saucepan, add the water, and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the dates are soft and tender and about 75 ml of liquid remains.
Spoon into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Tip into a bowl and set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well until combined.
Stir in one-third of the flour mixture followed by half of the date purée, mixing after each addition until just incorporated. Repeat with another third of the flour and the remaining date purée, finishing with the final third of the flour. Mix until fully incorporated.
Stir in the chopped chocolate until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Divide equally between the prepared cake tins. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until risen, firm to touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean (there may be a few crumbs due to the nature of the cake). Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to finish cooling completely.
For the meringue buttercream: In a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (or a double boiler), whisk the egg whites with the sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mix reaches a temperature of 70C. Remove from the heat.
Add the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Using an electric whisk, whisk until you have a meringue that holds stiff peaks. Add the butter, one cube at a time, whisking well after each addition. (If the mixture looks like it is separating, keep whisking until smooth).
Once all the butter has been incorporated, reduce to medium-high speed and beat for 2 minutes or until silky smooth. (Use immediately, or refrigerate briefly if buttercream is too soft.) Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large nozzle.
For the chocolate-caramel drizzle: in a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to the boil. Boil, without stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sugar mixture is a deep golden amber colour. Remove from heat.
Working quickly and carefully (making sure the cream doesn’t splash as the caramel will be very hot), stir in the cream, followed by the chocolate and salt. Stir until smooth. Leave to cool to room temperature.
To assemble: Trim the cakes using a serrated knife to ensure they are flat. Transfer one onto a flat serving plate. Drizzle with one third of the chocolate sauce. Pipe a circle of buttercream around the cake, about 1 cm/ ½ inch from the edge; fill with more buttercream. Top with a second cake, drizzle with more sauce and pipe buttercream over the top. Add the final cake; pipe remaining buttercream over top and sides of the cake. Use a palette knife or spatula to spread evenly. Drizzle with the remaining chocolate sauce over the top and side of the cake.
Top with your choice of LINDOR Chocolate Truffles and pieces Lindt Gold or LINDOR Chocolate Bars.
Slice, serve and enjoy!