COOKING WITH HERBS: CHOCOLATE MINT CAKE





INGREDIENTS:
250 g caster sugar
3 tbsp (10g) chopped fresh mint leaves
125g butter, softened
2 medium eggs
250g self-raising flour
60g cocoa powder sifted

FOR THE ICING:
300ml double cream
10g mint leaves, plus extra for decoration
200g bar dark chocolate roughly broken into pieces
2x20cm sandiwich tins, base-lined and buttered

TO MAKE THE CAKE:
Set the oven to 180 (centigrade) or Gas Mark 4. Put 1 tbsp of the sugar into a small bowl with the mint and pound together until the sugar is green. Cream the butter with the minty sugar and the remaining sugar, add the eggs one at a time, with a little flour, beating well. Fold in the rst of the flour sifted with the cocoa. Add 125 ml warm water. Mix until smooth and divide between the tins. Bake for 25 inutes. Cool on a wire rack.

TO MAKE THE ICING:

Put the cream in a pan with a bruised mint leaves. Bring to the boil slowly, then take of the heat and leave to infuse for at least 30 minutes. Reheat the cream, then strain it over the chocolate pieces in a large bowl and stir gently until the chocolate melts and te icing is smooth. Leave for 5-10 minutes to cool. Use a generous 3 tbsp to sandwich the cajkes together, spread the rest over the top and ease it down the sides. Leave to set. Decorate with sugar mint leaves.


TO SUGAR MINT LEAVES:
Brush leaves with lightly beaten egg white, sprinkle with caster sugar and leave on a rack or on paper to dry for 1 hour.

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