On Valentine’s Day I put on my baking mitts and got to work. While neither Neil nor I are obsessed with the commercialised “special” day we thought it wouldn’t hurt to treat ourselves to something sweet. What I loved most about this cake was its contrast. Outside it was cracked, hard and almost crunchy and then inside a sweet, moist sponge. A word of warning though, the cake dries out extremely fast and should preferably be eaten really quickly. What a perfect excuse because within 24 hours between the three of us the cake was no more…
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Chocolate Brandy Torte
Preparation: 20 mins – Cooking: 45 mins + cooling
- 125g (4oz) butter, diced, plus extra to grease
- 225g (8oz) good quality plain dark chocolate (with 60-70% coca solids), in pieces
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 125g (4oz) light muscovado sugar
- 50ml (2fl oz) brandy
- 75g (3oz) self-raising flour, sifted
- 50g (2oz) ground almonds
- icing sugar, to dust
- raspberries, for garnishing (optional)
- Grease and line a 20cm (8 inch) spring-release cake tin.
- Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth; cool slightly.
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and creamy, then whisk in the brandy and melted chocolate on a low speed. Carefully fold in the flour and ground almonds, using a large metal spoon.
- Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl to the soft peak stage. Beat a large spoonful of the egg white into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then carefully fold in the remainder, using a large metal spoon.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake at 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4 for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. The surface will be crusted and cracked, concealing a soft, moist cake beneath. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack. Remove the lining paper when the cake is cold.
- To serve, dust the top of the cake with icing sugar.
- You can take the “good” or “naughty” route. Neil drizzled double cream over his cake while I enjoyed mine with fresh raspberries. If you have any other good ideas, why not comment below?