This is just a simple, incredibly rich and moist chocolate cake from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook . It is very easy to make, and it is big on impact ( a little goes a long way). It is also coeliac friendly, as it is completely gluten free. The trick is in the two layers of the same cake batter, so the base is like a standard cake, with layer of incredibly rich brownie esque gooey chocolate on top.
This was made for a family Easter dinner. As I am no longer an adorable child who is given chocolate eggs by all and sundry (I think the record was about 16), compensation has to be made with a chocolatey Easter dessert. I had been getting a bit disillusioned with baking because of my rubbish oven in London, and was starting to have a poor workman blames his tools chip on my shoulder. Then I baked this in my parents perfectly functioning oven, and now know I can vent my anger at my tools without blame. This particular dessert elicited grumbles from my dad, who claimed the hours spent slaving over a leg of lamb stuffed with garlic and anchovies went unnoticed once the cake was produced (he was kind of right..).
This is one you can do earlier in the day, as it does need a bit of time to cool so the top layer sets completely. The original recipe called for a mix of two different dark chocolate percentage. I’m afraid I don’t know what mine was, I’m guessing around the 65% mark, and it was lovely, so I guess just go with whatever you feel. Serves 6-8.
- 240g butter
- 360g chocolate
- 5 eggs, separated
- 290g sugar
- 4 tbsp water
- Break the chocolate into very small pieces (I used confectioners chocolate chips from my local cake shop which helped immensely.
- Separate 5 eggs.
- Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt into meringue (this is pretty labour intensive if you don’t have a stand up mixer).
- Put the chocolate pieces and the butter (cubed into small pieces as well) into a very large heatproof bowl (this is the bowl the whole cake mix will be put together in).
- Heat the sugar and water until the sugar is melted and incorporated, and then bring to the boil to form a syrup.
- Pour the boiling syrup over the chocolate and butter, and stir until the whole thing melts into a chocolate sauce (even with my small chocolate chips, I had a few pieces of chocolate floating around, but these melted into the cake when it baked).
- Leave for a minute to cool, then stir in the egg yolks one by one.
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes, until it is room temperature, then fold in the meringue, one quarter or so at a time until the whole thing is well incorporated (you may see flecks of meringue, this is apparently ok, although I didn’t personally).
- Pour two thirds into a lined, greased 20 inch spring form tin (or a tin which can hold equivalent volume) and bake for 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Pour the remaining batter on top and bake for another 20 or so minutes.
- This layer should still be gooey, but not liquid if the tin is moved, and a skewer put in the middle will meet a bit of resistance, but still come out with crumbs and a bit of batter.
- Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin.
- Decorate as you see fit (I used a crumbled flake, crystallised violets, and mini eggs channelling the many Easter Bonnet competitions of my youth).