22 Oct Chocolate Cake
22 October 2020
PREP. TIME: 10 MIN - COOK TIME: 45 - 60 min - SERVES: 6
This is an excellent, rich, dense, gluten-free chocolate cake that can be dressed up with berries, sliced nuts, and cream and dustings of icing sugar, served warm - straight from the oven as plain as you please and anything in between.
Bitter-Sweet chocolate delivers a deep, flavour and a smooth texture. If available, I recommend Simon Coll 50% Cacao (dark).
If the cake is kept plain or simply dusted with sugar and cocoa - it can be stored unrefrigerated for up to 5 days. It will become a little firmer and drier each day but remains very good.
If you are topping with cream or berries you need to store it in the refrigerator.
To freeze - wrap firmly in well secured cling film and baking paper.
See the variations below for serving suggestions.
250g bitter - sweet or semi - sweet Chocolate
2 tablespoons Milk
120g Ground almonds + extra to dust the cake tin
6 tablespoons sugar
6 Cold Eggs
Butter - to grease the cake tin
Caster sugar and Cocoa Powder (optional) to decorate
Double boiler - or a bowl fitted over a saucepan to melt the chocolate
2 mixing bowls
Whisk and wooden spoon
Spatula to scrape the sides of the bowls
20 - 24cm spring form cake tin
Silicone cake tin liner - optional
Small wire strainer
Preheat the oven to 180C
Prepare the cake tin with a silicone liner. If you do not have a silicone liner, grease the sides and bottom of the tin with a knob of butter. Sprinkle a small handful of ground almonds over all internal surfaces of the tin and shake the excess out.
Step 2 - Melt the chocolate
Set up your double boiler with water in the bottom pot
Create your own double boiler by stabilising a heat proof bowl over a saucepan or place two saucepans on top of each other.
Partially fill the lower saucepan with water and bring to the boil.
Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it with the milk in the top of the double saucepan. The water will be boiling below - heating the upper chamber, and thus melting the chocolate.
Stir the milk and the chocolate to combine into a velvety, smooth liquid.
Remove from the heat and set aside in a warm place.
Step 3 - Separate the eggs
While the chocolate is melting - separate the eggs into two separate bowls.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
To check that the egg whites are firm enough, dip a wooden spoon into the mixture, turn the spoon upside down and if the eggs continue to adhere to the spoon they are sufficiently beaten.
Step 5 - Beat the egg yolks
Beat the egg yolks one at a time in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer at low speed.
When all the yolks have been added - Increase the speed and beat until pale in colour and frothy.
With the motor still running - add the sugar a spoonful at a time.
Step 6 - Make the mixture
Remove the bowl from the mixer and carefully fold in the melted chocolate.
Mix in the ground almonds until well combined.
Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Check for doneness by inserting a knife into the centre - the knife should come out clean.
Keep the cooked cake in its tin and place on a wire cake rack to cool.
When cool remove the base and transfer the cake to a flat plate.
Step 9 Serving Variations
1. Serve warm from the oven with fresh cream and perhaps some berries
2. When cool dust with icing sugar and cocoa through a small wire strainer
3. For something truly fancy - when completely cool top with whipped cream, sliced pistachios and almonds, fresh berries and a dusting of icing sugar.
Recipe by Claudia Roden, A New Book of Middle Eastern Cookery.
Adapted by Elizabeth Peddey.
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