This recipe makes a mega-cake, but if you’re feeding fewer people, make a single cake and split it in half horizontally to fill it.
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Butter two 21cm-diameter cake tins (preferably not springform; see tip) and line bases with baking paper. Whisk the eggs and castor sugar in an electric mixer until pale and doubled in volume (5-6 minutes). Meanwhile, sieve the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl. When the egg mixture is doubled in volume, transfer to a large bowl, then sift over the flour mixture in three batches, folding to combine between additions. Fold in the butter, then divide evenly between the cake tins, smooth the tops and bake until risen and the centres spring back when lightly pressed (30-35 minutes). Cool in the cake tins and trim the tops flush if necessary, then return to the tins and pierce all over at small intervals with a skewer.
2. Chocolate panna cotta Bring the milk, cream and castor sugar to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat, whisk in the chocolate until melted and smooth. Squeeze excess water from the gelatine, add to chocolate mixture and whisk to dissolve. Gradually pourthe panna cotta mixture over the cakes, letting the liquid soak in, and refrigerate until set (4-5 hours).