This week's challenge for the Weekly Bake Off, organised by Amy, was the Divine Chocolate Cake from page 204 of Mary Berry's '100 Cakes and Bakes'. It's a flourless cake, which is something I have not tried making before, and relies on the correct beating of egg whites to add lightness to the mix. 'Uh Oh, another recipe for disaster' I thought, particularly after last week. And again, I had my problems with this one. The cake itself tastes fantastic, but mine did not rise evenly in the oven (and a large crack appeared around the sides). It initially felt very dry on the top. This was later rectified by the icing, which then combined to form a gooey, fudgy cake that went down well with Mike and the boys.
Anyway, here's the recipe.
6 large eggs, 5 of them separated
215g caster sugar
265g plain 39% chocolate (I used Bourneville)
1 level teaspoon instant coffee
1 tsp hot water
150g ground almonds
4 tbspn apricot jam
225g plain 39% chocolate
100g unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 170 fan / 190 conventional / gas 5. Grease and line a 23cm / 9inch deep tin (I used a springform).
Beat the egg yolks, whole egg and sugar until thick and light in colour.
Melt the chocolate gently until smooth. Dissolve the coffee in the water and add to the chocolate (At this point I wish I had gone with my instincts, which was that adding liquid to chocolate would make it seize. It started too, and became clumpy, so I stopped mixing it in and added it to the egg and sugar mix. I think it was more difficult than it should have been to mix in, and so if I made this again, I would add the chocloate to the eggs and sugar, and then add the coffee liquor.)
|Chocolate beginning to seize
In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold into the chocolate mix. Add to the prepared tin and gently level the surface. Bake for around 50 minutes until risen.
|Slight cracking around the edge
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then place on wire rack to continue cooling.
To make the icing, melt the chocolate and butter over a bowl of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally to mix, until you have a smooth but thick, pourable mix, cooling if necessary. Pour over the cake. (Mary suggests putting the cake on a wire rack so that the icing can drip down the sides and the tray catch the overflow. I didn't bother with this and just poured a lovely thick layer on the top of the cake, with some flowing over the side.)
I then added some heart shaped sprinkles -
This is the sliced cake -
The texture is rich and fudgy, exactly as described in the book. It's a little sweeter than I would normally go for (as in my Brownies, for example) but that's probably due to using the 39% chocolate. Presumably you could use a higher percentage if you wanted.
Anyway, as soon as Ben tasted it, he thought it was fantastic. And he is the chocoholic of the family ...