So, here's my Special Occasions Gateau. It's easy but time consuming - but worth it as it looks so impressive!
I make loads of wafer thin "biscuits" (about 20cm diameter) lightly flavoured with ginger - this one had 14 layers I think. These can me made ahead which helps a lot. I also make the chocolate curls ahead of time and keep them in the fridge - sometimes this is the most difficult bit of the whole thing as getting the chocolate to the right level of "set" to make the curls work is hit and miss. About an hour before serving I whip the cream with a bit of icing sugar and a few tbsps of brandy until it's firm then spread a small amount between each biscuit , leaving some for the top of the gateau. Then all the chocolate curls get piled up on the top and it goes in the fridge till it's time to serve.