Chocolate and Almond Cake

Serve slightly warm for pudding, with creme fraiche or double cream. Raspberries also go well. Lucy Boyd recipe, and the best chocolate and almond cake I have tried. Full quantities are enough for 8 or 10, in a shallow 20cm cake tin with a removable base; half quantities perfect for 4 (or even 6), in a 15cm tin.

85g unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the tin
tbsp plain flour, to dust the tin (use rice flour to b gluten free)
120g dark chocolate
4 medium eggs, separated
85g caster sugar
85g ground almonds

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC Fan/Gas 6. Grease the tin with a little butter, then dust with flour, turning the tin to coat and tapping out any excess.

Put the chocolate with the butter into a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (making sure there is no contact between the bottom of the bowl and the water) and stir until smooth, then take off the heat and allow to cool.

Beat the egg yolks together with the caster sugar until creamy and you can write your initial. Combine the cooled chocolate with the sugar and yolks and stir in the ground almonds.

Whisk the egg whites to form soft peaks, then fold into the chocolate and almond mixture. Pour into the prepared cake tin and cook for 25-30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin before turning out.

You can make a chocolate icing (though I never do) by melting 90g dark chocolate with 30g butter in a heatproof bowl, stir until smooth then sift in 25g icing sugar with 1 tbsp water (or more if necessary). Leave to cool before spreading over the cake.

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