1 hour plus chilling time
and time for making the caraque
225 g /8 oz bitter chocolate, broken into small pieces
30 ml /2 tbs butter
4 large eggs, separated
15 ml /1 tbs sugar
125 ml /4 fl oz brandy
75 ml /3 fl oz black coffee
50 ml /2 fl oz thick cream
500 g /1 lb butter cake or sponge cake loaf, cut into 6 mm / 1/4 in slices
225 ml /8 fl oz Creme Chantilly
For the chocolate caraque
75 g /3 oz plain chocolate
1- Place the chocolate in the top of a double saucepan, with the butter and 30 ml /2 tbs water. Place the pan over a low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate has melted. Cool slightly.
2- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture.
3- whisk the egg whites until stiff. Then, using a metal spoon, fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Set aside.
4- In a small mixing bowl, combine the brandy, coffee and thick cream, then set aside
5- Using one-third of the sponge slices, line the base of a round 22 cm /8 /1/2 in loose-bottomed cake tin, and place on a tray as the brandy coffee liquid tends to leak out.
6- Sprinkle one-third of the brandy and coffee mixture over the sponge. Spoon half the chocolate mixture over the sponge, smoothing the top with the back of the spoon. Make a second layer in this way. Finish with a layer of sponge slices sprinkled with the brandy and coffee mixture.
7- Using a spatula or flat-bladed knife, spread the Creme Chantilly over the sponge. Place the cake in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
8- Meanwhile make the chocolate caraque. Grate the chocolate and melt in the top of a double boiler. Spread the melted chocolate thinly on a marble slab or laminated surface and leave until nearly set.
9- Using a long sharp knife, shave chocolate off the slab slant ways, using a slight sawing action and holding the knife blade at a right angle to the chocolate. The chocolate will form scrolls or flakes.
10- Remove the tin from the refrigerator. Remove the cake from the tin. Sprinkle over the chocolate caraque and serve immediately
* The chocolate caraque will keep in an airtight tin but looks better when freshly made. .