Christmas Lights Chocolate Spice Cake

150g dark chocolate, chopped

150g butter, cubed and at room temperature

6 eggs, room temperature

250g light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g ground almonds

1 tsp mixed spice

1 orange, zest and juice

To decorate

70g dark chocolate, chopped

70ml single cream

knob of butter (optional)

1 tsp ground almonds

1 tsp icing sugar

Star shaped sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a 23cm cake tin with baking parchment or silicone paper. To make the cake, melt the butter and chocolate together in a heat resistant bowl over a pot of boiling water and when completely melted and combined set aside. Use a mixer to beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla until pale, frothy and doubled in volume. Add the ground almonds, spice, orange zest and juice to the egg mixture and fold in gently to keep as much air in the mixture as possible. Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture and fold through until it’s a uniform colour. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for approximately 40 minutes – as it’s a flour-less cake it will not rise substantially but should have a firm surface and yielding centre. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. For the topping, heat the cream to boiling point and pour over the chopped chocolate, stir to create a smooth ganache, add a knob of butter to give it more of a sheen. Pour the ganache over the cooled cake and spread with a pallet knife. Mix the icing sugar and ground almonds in a saucer then sprinkle pinches over the top of the cake and decorate with the star shaped sprikles. Serves 8-10