If only the lack of blogging this summer would be the direct result of lack of eating. Alas, it is not. I not only ate my way through the summer but I have nothing to show for it except half a dozen pairs of jeans that don’t fit. I have therefore embarked upon no less than five attempts at dieting only to find myself in the South of France or other such environs where dieting is, indeed, impossible. I welcomed the first of September, with its ever so slightly cooler breeze, as a new start, fresh beginning, or back to school if you will: I have sworn off carbs! And I haven’t been so bad, one French fry here and there but I have been pretty good. So what to do when lovely brother and sister-in-law invite themselves over for dinner (I wish more people would do this by the way)? Well there isn’t much else to do than whip out the Ottolenghi cookbook and start flipping through the pages of what can only be categorized as food porn. It’s not too difficult to put together a starter and a main course and avoid the dreaded carbohydrate but dessert is a different matter altogether. Enter the flourless chocolate cake: pure genius. As soon as I laid eyes upon this recipe I knew that it was meant to be. Isn’t that cheating you say? Yes, of course it is. But were my guests to suffer because of my personal battle of the bulge. I think not! Does that mean I have full license to have chocolate cake for every meal until I finally gave away the rest to my housekeeper? No! But did I? Yes! And with pleasure.
240g Unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
360g Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
290g Light muscovado sugar
4 tbsp water
5 large eggs (separated)
A pinch of salt
Cocoa for dusting
Pre-heat the oven to 170˚C and prepare your baking tin.
Step 1: In a large bowl combine your chocolate and butter. Both should be sufficiently cut up into small pieces. At the same time mix the sugar and water into a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling pour over the chocolate and butter until it is all melted together. (If you ignored the “cut it up into small pieces” directive, insert step 2a, melt mixture further over a double boiler until smooth.)
Step 2: Stir the egg yolks into the chocolate one at a time and reserve the whites in another bowl. Then whisk the whites and the salt until firm. Let the chocolate cool room temperature before folding in the whites.
Step 3: Pour 2/3 of the mixture into your cake tin and cook for 40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Then set aside until completely cool. Then pour the remaining mixture over and cook for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick shows a moist crumb. Set aside to cool and dust with cocoa and/or icing sugar. (Tip: To best dust a cake, use a tea ball. You get the right amount of dusting material with little mess and no lumps)
Notes: Make this cake and you will make yourself and anyone around you happy. It will keep for a couple of days.