Serves 8 – 10
One of those impressive cakes that tastes as good as it looks. Best to bake the day before and to decorate on the day.
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Chocolate Cake

You will need

3 extra large eggs at, room temperature
1 cup (250 ml) canola oil
1 t (5 ml) coffee granules
¾ cup (180 ml) boiling water
1 x 650 g Ina Paarman’s Chocolate Cake Mix
2 ripe pears, peeled and grated
½ cup (50 g) flaked almonds, lightly toasted, reserve 2 T for decorating

½ cup (125 ml) fresh cream
125 g dark chocolate
½ t (2,5 ml) cayenne pepper

½ cup (125 ml) fresh cream
pinch of salt
½ t (2.5 ml) gelatine
1 T (15 ml) sugar

reserved toasted flaked almonds


Adjust oven rack to the middle position.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter two 22 cm cake pans and line the bases with baking paper.
Mix cake according to package instructions. Remember to reduce coffee to ¾ cup when mixing. Fold in the grated pears and any juice, as well as the flaked almonds, but reserve 2 T for garnish. Divide mixture between the two pans. Bake for 40 minutes. Leave the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave until cold.

Chilli ganache

Warm cream, turn off the heat and add chocolate and cayenne pepper. Leave to melt away from the heat. Stir through until all lumps have smoothed out. Leave to stand until soft-set to spreading consistency.
To make the cream filling, half whip the cream. Mix and then add the salt, dry gelatine powder and sugar. Beat until the cream holds it shape – do not overbeat the cream.

To assemble

Sandwich the cakes together with the whipped cream placing rounded sides together.
Spread cooled ganache over the top of the cake.
Sprinkle with reserved almonds.