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    Super-Chocolate Cake

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    Super-Chocolate Cake

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 1 hour, plus cooling
    • Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes, plus cooling 60 minutes 20 minutes

    Serves: 8

    Ingredients

    • 225g dark chocolate
    • 225g softened butter, plus extra for greasing
    • 7 eggs, separated
    • 85g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
    • 225g caster sugar
    • 115g ground almonds
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1 tsp vanilla or almond essence
    • 150g icing sugar
    • 4 tbsp cherry brandy

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, Gas Mark 4. Liberally butter a 20cm springform cake tin, then lightly dust it with flour. Set aside.
    2. Break the chocolate into small pieces, put in a bowl and place over a bowl or pan of just-boiled water (off the heat). Leave to melt. Stir occasionally until melted. You may need to replace the water with freshly boiled water half way through the melting time.
    3. Meanwhile beat the butter until soft and fluffy, then gradually beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. When the melted chocolate is tepid, beat it into the butter and egg mix, followed by the flour, sugar, ground almonds, salt and vanilla or almond essence.
    4. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks then, using a metal spoon, fold them into the chocolate mixture. Quickly spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 160ºC, Gas Mark 2½. Bake for a further 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out almost clean. Once it is cool enough to handle, gently turn it out on to a rack to cool completely.
    5. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the cherry brandy to form a thick icing. Spread on to the cake with a palette knife. If the knife becomes too sticky, dip it in warm water before continuing to ice. Serve once set. You can decorate the cake further with whole fresh cherries dipped in melted plain chocolate, and left to set before being placed on the icing.

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