As you can see, this cake is not for the faint hearted! As this recipe contains no flour, it takes on the role of one of those wonderful gooey in the middle sort of desserts, probably more suited to being warmed up with custard or cream.
As per usual, the recipe comes from The Great British Book of Baking and is so well written and easy to explain. The recipe also banishes cocoa powder and calls for 'good quality' dark chocolate. I felt it necessary not to rebel against such instructions, how could I insult such a beauty in that way?! As a result, the cake was incredibly rich and I wonder if the icing took it too far over the edge- I can't believe I just typed such an audacious sentence! I guess the occasion could determine such a decision in terms of icing/no icing.
I also felt it necessary to document the whole process step by step. This was for two reasons, the first being that I had never made a cake in this way, and I was amazed. Secondly, I felt the pictures accompanied the instructions perfectly.
These pictures show the mixture before the chocolate is added, puffed up and around 5 times the original volume and also once the chocolate was folded in and it had sunk somewhat.
Despite the cake's promising appearance straight from the oven, my cake sunk much to my disappointment! This was stated in the recipe though so this wasn't too bad. I then, against the instructions, covered the top of the cake in frosting, instead of turning it bottom up which caused the icing to be thicker towards the middle and therefore only possible to eat in minuscule slices!
Unfortunately, this cake wasn't for me but I was sent a doggy bag from my Grandad and it was phenomenal!
For the cake:
300g good quality dark chocolate
150g unsalted butter, diced
5 medium eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g caster sugar
For the icing:
200g good quality dark chocolate
100ml double cream
A 22cm springclip tin, greased with butter and the base lined with greaseproof paper
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas4
Break up the chocolate and put it in a heatproof bowl with the butter. Set over a pan of steaming hot but not boiling water and leave to melt, stirring frequently. Don't let the base of the bowl touch the surface of the water or the chocolate may become to hot and seize up. Once it has melted, remove from the pan and leave to cool
Meanwhile, break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, add the vanilla and whisk for a few seconds just to break the eggs up
Add the sugar and whisk on full power until pale, very thick and mousse like and about 5 times the original volume- this should take about 5 minutes. To test if the mixture is ready, lift out the whisk- if a thick, ribbon like trail of mixture falls back into the bowl and is still visible after 5 seconds you can stop whisking
Pour the chocolate mixture on to the egg mousse and very gently, but thoroughly, fold the two together, using a large metal spoon- take your time, ensuring there are no pockets of chocolate at the bottom of the bowl
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until just firm to the touch- the centre should still be slightly moist under the crust as the cake will continue to cook once out of the oven
Stand the tin on a wire cooling rack and run a round bladed knife around the inside to loosen the sponge. Leave until completely cold before removing the tin. The cake will rise to the top of the tin during baking but will sink on cooling
Invert the cake onto a serving plate- it's easier to ice this part
To make the icing, finely chop the chocolate and put it into a large heatproof bowl with the cream
Set over a pan of steaming hot but not boiling water and make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Leave for a minute or so until the chocolate is half melted, then remove from the pan and beat the chocolate well until glossy
Pour the topping evenly over the cake and let it trickle down the sides- if worked too much it will lose it's shine. Leave until firm