Chocolate decadence cake
- 150g dark (bittersweet) chocolate, chopped fine (at least 70% cocoa solids)
- 1 whole large egg
- 1 large egg, separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg white
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 50g best quality cocoa powder
- 20g plain flour
- 180g caster sugar (divide into 130g and 50g)
- 185ml milk (original recipe uses skimmed, but I only had full-fat on hand which worked fine)
You will also need a 20cm (8″) round cake tin with a solid bottom, 1 1/2 to 2″ deep and a roasting tin at least 2″ deep and 2″ wider than the cake tin
Position rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 180C (fan oven 160). Spray the sides of the pan with oil and line the base with parchment paper. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
Place the chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Combine 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk in a small bowl with the vanilla. Place the 2 egg whites in a medium bowl with the cream of tartar. Set all 3 bowls aside.
Sift the cocoa, flour and 150g sugar in a medium saucepan. Whisk in enough of the milk to form a smooth paste. Mix in remaining milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula to prevent burning until mixture begins to simmer. Simmer very gently, stirring constantly, for 1 1/2 minutes. Pour the hot mixture immediately over the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Whisk in egg and vanilla mixture. Set aside.
Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 50g of sugar, whisking at high speed until stiff, glossy but not dry. Fold a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in remaining egg whites. Scrape mixture into the cake tin and smooth the top. Set cake tin in roasting tin and place on oven rack. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting tin to come about half of the way up the side of the cake tin. Bake for exactly 30 minutes. The surface of the torte will spring back when very gently pressed but it will still be quite gooey inside. Remove cake tin and water bath from oven. Remove the cake tin from the water and cool completely on a rack. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate overnight before attempting to remove from tin.
Unmould by sliding a thin knife or metal spatula around the sides of the tin to release the torte. Place a piece of wax paper on top of torte. Invert a plate on top of the wax paper and invert torte onto plate. Remove tin and gently peel away paper liner. Turn torte right side up again and remove wax paper. Cut into wedges with a sharp thin knife. Dip the knife in hot water and wipe it dry between each slice.