Choc and Awe

A brief diversion from Home Cooking Made Easy (Lorraine, forgive me) for my birthday. I made the Really easy chocolate cake from Stevie Parle in Saturday’s Telegraph.

Now, fatless sponge this ain’t – it contains a whopping 200g of butter, but it’s very nearly flourless and could be completely if you substituted cocoa powder or ground almonds for the flour. I also made it dairy free by using Pure sunflower margarine and Ryelands (Tesco discount brand) plain chocolate. It really is astonishingly simple, but don’t expect an airy sponge; this is a dense sort of set mousse.

Preheat oven to 180’C (or less for a fan oven) and grease and line a 22cm/8 inch round cake tin.

Melt 200g chocolate and 200g butter in a pyrex bowl over simmering water. But don’t let the bowl touch the water. (Or melt in the microwave using 30 second blasts and stirring in between each one). I used a 2 pint bowl which just about fitted all the rest of the ingredients in. Once melted remove from heat and stir and leave to cool for a couple of minutes.

Then stir in 5 eggs, one by one (whole is fine, just stir hard). Then stir in 150g sugar, then 2 tbsps ground almonds, then 1 tbsp brandy (optional), then 1 tbsp flour. Pour the mixture (yes, it’s very wet) into cake tin and bake for 20 minutes.

The cake rises while cooking:

and then sinks when cooling:

It’s delicate so leave to cool in tin completely before removing (with the help of your trusty palette knife).

Serve dusted with icing sugar and with a dollop of creme fraiche. No creme fraiche for me on my dairy-free diet, but I had a nice cup of tea.

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