Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS:

  • 300g good quality dark chocolate (Valrhona is best)
  • 175g butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 80g sifted plain flour
  • 40ml Grand Marnier
  • 40ml Whisky or Brandy (feel free to substitute the 80ml of alcohol with whatever you wish. Replace with milk if serving to children)
  • pinch of cream of tartar

Ganache

  • 300ml pure cream
  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

METHOD:

  1. Grease and line an 18-20cm diameter springform cake pan. Grease the base of the lining. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  2. Melt 300gm chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of slow simmering water and set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar for 5 minutes until pale and creamy. While continuously mixing, add egg yolks, one at a time, beating briefly after each addition to incorporate.
  4. With a wooden spoon, mix in the flour, add the alcohol/milk and half the melted chocolate. Beat until half mixed then fold in the remaining chocolate.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk eggwhites with cream of tartar until soft peaks. Fold a third of eggwhites through chocolate mixture to loosen mixture, then fold through remaining eggwhite taking care not to overwork.
  6. Spoon mixture into cake pan and bake in centre of oven for 55 mins to an hour or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool completely in the cake pan on wire rack, then remove the sides and invert onto a cake platter.
  7. For ganache, bring cream just to the boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat, add chocolate, stand for 5 minutes until chocolate melts, then stir until glossy and smooth.
  8. Transfer to a bowl or container and cover the surface with clingwrap to prevent a skin forming. Stand for 1 hour at room temperature to cool then refrigerate for 45 minutes or until firm yet still pliable.
  9. Remove ganache from refrigerator and stir until smooth. Coat sides and top of cake evenly with ganache.
  10. Cake can be stored in the refrigerator, however bring to room temperature before serving.
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