This is a moist but dense chocolate cake best served with pouring cream or creme fraiche. It is not designed to be filled in the centre like a sponge cake.
It’s origins hail from Capri but this is my version with a hint of hazelnut liquer to give it a nutty flavour which really complements the almonds in the mixture.
Don’t be tempted to cook it too long otherwise it can become rather dry. Serve it room temperature with some in season fruit like orange or clementine in winter or blackberries in summer. It is fine made the day before and keeps well in a tin.
Equipment: you will need a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin, greased, the sides and bottom lined with greaseproof paper.
200g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
1 tsp hazelnut liqueur or other suitable liqueur (optional)
200g softened butter
200g caster sugar
200g ground almonds
5 eggs, seperated
Pre heat the oven to 160 fan/180 non fan.
Put the butter and sugar into a mixer (or use an electric hand whisk) and beat until pale, light and creamy – this is important to ensure that the cake is not heavy.
Beat in the egg yolks slowly ie 1 at a time to ensure that the mixture does not seperate. Add the almonds and mix in utnil you have incorporated them all.
Put the chocolate, broken into squares, into a microwaveable bowl. Give the bowl 2 30 second blasts in the microwave at 1000 watts. Take the bowl out and stir the chocolate until it has melted – don’t be tempted to give it any longer as it may go over and become a curdled mess. After it has stood for a minute or so and still has small lumps put it back into the microwave for around 5 seconds – no more !
Add the chocolate and liqueur (if using) to the almond mixture and stir well into the mixture until it is fully distributed.
In a clean bowl beat the egg whites until you get stiff peaks. Then fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 50 minutes , until it is firm on top and a skewer comes out clean (ish) . Cool in the tin and then take out of the tin and cool completely before serving.