I am not really a dessert type person - main course is as the name suggests the highlight of any meal for me. However just occasionally I will indulge in this fantastically dense, rich cake which tastes great warm or cold. In fact, assuming you have the self-discipline, this cake tastes even better the day after baking.
70 g un-salted softened butter
100 g good quality dark chocolate
3 medium eggs, seperated
60 g icing sugar
30g finely chopped almond nuts
1 level tablespoon plain flour
a sprinkle of caster sugar
Before cooking first separate the three egg yolks and whites.
Now, begin by breaking up the chocolate and placing it in a bowl and putting the bowl over a pan of boiling water. Reduce the heat on the pan to take the water off the boil and allow the chocolate to melt almost completely.
Just before the chocolate has completely melted, add 50 g of the softened butter and stir into the chocolate using a spatula. Immediately add the 3 egg yolks, stirring continuously, followed by the icing sugar, finely chopped almonds, and the flour. Stir until everything is blended beautifully.
Remove the bowl from the pan, and set aside allowing the mix to cool a little.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.
Take a very clean mixing bowl and add the 3 egg whites with the caster sugar. Start by whisking slowly and gradually increase whisking speed. Whisk until the whisk leaves traces in the whites and they no longer stick to the sides of the bowl.
Take a quarter of the whisked whites and fold into the chocolate mixture. When incorporated, gently fold in the rest of the whites, and continue slowly until all traces of white have disappeared.
Take an 8 inch round cake tin (or rectangular), grease with the remaining butter and sprinkle in a little flour. Shake the flour around the greased cake tin and tap out any excess. Take the batter and carefully fill the cake tin, making it smooth on top.
Place the cake tin in the bottom half of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Now slip the blade of the knife into the cake to see if it is done or not. It should emerge with the edges dry, but the centre still reasonably moist.
Remove the cake from the baking tin, and turn upside down onto a cooling rack.
The cake can be ate warm or cool. As I said earlier, it tastes best the day after, but can you wait that long?
Serve with creme fraiche, yoghurt, vanilla ice cream, or a favourite of mine raspberry sorbet!