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Chocolate, chilli and ginger cake

185 g | 6 ½ oz softened butter
185 g | 6 ½ oz soft brown sugar
150 g | 5 ¼ oz self raising flour
65 g | 2 ¼ oz dark cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons sour cream
3 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons chilli powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
4 balls stem ginger in sirup
Apricot Jam
Ginger and chilli ganache, see below
Pre heat oven to 180 C, 160 C fan, 350 F, gas mark 4, moderate Aga.
Grease and line 2, 8 inch cake tins.
Roughly chop the ginger balls (the best way is to cut the balls into quarters then to cut each quarter into 6 or 7 pieces)
In a mixer beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add the chilli ground ginger and beat until well mixed.  In a small bowl beat the eggs with the vanilla extract and slowly add to the butter mixture. Continue mixing until the eggs are all combined. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together.  On the slowest mixer setting add 1 tablespoon of the flour and cocoa mixture followed by 1 tablespoon of sour cream, until you have used all the cream.  Gently fold the remaining  flour and cocoa into the batter mixture.   Divide the batter between the cake tins and bake for 30 minutes, check the cakes after 20 minutes. To check if the cakes are cooked they should spring back when you touch the top and a skewer inserted into the middle will come out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cakes are cold sandwich them together with the apricot jam and make the ganache 
2 balls ginger in sirup and 3 tablespoons sirup
1 teaspoon chilli powder
100 g dark chocolate
130 ml double cream 
In a small mixer or pestle and mortar grind the ginger with the chilli powder to a paste
Break the chocolate into a bowl in small pieces
Place the cream and ginger/chilli paste into a small saucepan, mix well and heat, stirring  until the cream is just boiling. Once the cream boils take it off the heat and strain it over the chocolate, discard any bits of ginger.  Stir the cream and chocolate together until the chocolate has completely melted, some makes of chocolate will start to separate, if this happens add 2 tablespoons of cold cream and mix, you can repeat that once more if you need to.
The ganache is best left to cool a bit before using it to cover the cake, it needs to be able to drip slowly down the sides of the cake without being runny. To cover the cake pour the ganache into the middle of the cake and allow it to find its own level and drip down the side of the cake, if the ganache is a little too thick you can help it by tipping the cake.
Best served once the ganache is cold and set with cold pouring cream straight from the fridge.

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