Chocolate Cake – Chez Pannise

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This is not my recipe, I got it from Diva Cooking, my favourite cookbook ever , written by Victoria Blashford-Snell & Jennifer Joyce.  They cook with real integrity and their recipes work. It is not their recipe either, it originates from a restaurant just outside San Francisco called Chez Panisse. However, before concluding that this chocolate cake recipe really is the best ever, they tested 50 recipes. I thank them for their conclusion, I think you will too.

This is like a giant chocolate fondant, but with very little flour, it is light rather than dense. Would do well served with a good vanilla ice cream or a dollop of marscapone.

250 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
6 medium eggs, separated
250 g salted butter
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
175 g caster sugar
55 g light soft brown sugar
55 g ground almonds
3 tbsp plain flour, sifted
Icing sugar to decorate

Preheat oven to 190 c. Grease the base of a springform tin which is 20-23cm in diameter, and line it with greaseproof paper.

You will need 3 bowls for this recipe.

Melt the butter and the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave on a medium heat. Once melted, whisk to make sure there are no lumps.

Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until you have soft peaks.

Whisk the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl together with the sugars until the mixture is pale. Then, pour in the chocolate mixture, combining it carefully. This dish is all about getting as much air into the dish as possible and then avoiding bashing it out again.

Add the almonds and the flour to the chocolate mixture, and gently combine. And finally gently fold in the egg whites.

Pour into your baking tin and bake for 25-30 minutes. The cake should be set but a bit wobbly in the middle. I actually took a peek at 20 minutes and realised that my oven was being very efficient. Turned the oven off immediately but left the cake in the cooling oven for another 5 minutes. It came out perfect.

Cool in the tin. Remove from the tin, peel off the greaseproof paper, plate it and dust it liberally with icing sugar.

This is a real crowd pleaser and it is quick and easy to make.

This cake will serve 8 sumo wrestlers or 12 normal folk. It will keep for 3 days at room temperature. Do not refrigerate.

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