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French Silk Cake

French Silk Cake

¾ cup plain flour
90g unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup pecan cuts, chopped finely
3 tablespoons soft brown sugar

60g unsweetened chocolate
125g unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup seeded raisins, chopped finely

1 cup cream
2 teaspoons crème de cacao or chocolate or coffee liqueur

Chocolate leaves
Fresh rose petals
Crystallised violets (optional)

To make crust:
1. Combine flour and softened butter in a bowl.
2. Add chopped pecan nuts and sugar and work into a soft paste.
3. Press mixture onto base of a well-greased 28cm x 18cm slice tray.
4. Bake in a preheated 180ºC oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let the crust cool on tray on a rack.

To make filling:
1. Melt chocolate over hot water. Set aside to cool.
2. Cream softened butter until smooth, then beat in sugar.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Stir melted and cooled chocolate into mixture with seeded raisins. Combine thoroughly.
5. Spread chocolate mixture over crust and chill for 2 hours.

To make cream:
1. Whip cream until it holds soft peaks, then fold in crème de cacao.
2. Beat cream again until a stiff consistency is reached.

To assemble:
1. Carefully remove chilled crust mixture from pan and with a serrated knife, halve it lengthwise.
2. Place one half, crust side down, on a serving plate and spread with half the whipped cream mixture.
3. Place other crust half, crust side down on top of cream.
4. Decorate with remaining whipped cream and garnish with chocolate flakes.
5. Place cake in freezer.
6. To serve, remove cake from freezer about one hour before serving.
7. Slice while still frozen and allow to stand at room temperature until needed. Garnish with fresh rose petals (and crystallised violets, if liked)
This may be served as either cake or dessert.

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