Australian House & Garden



Serves 10

400g good-quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces

6 eggs, separated

150g caster sugar

2½ tablespoon­s Cointreau

300ml pure cream

Cocoa powder, for dusting

Lightly whipped cream, to serve

This cake was on my first dessert menu back in 1982 and has always been a favourite with my family. It’s a terrific cake, with a heavenly texture like a chocolate soufflé – and it behaves like one too. With no flour to hold it up, it rises as it cooks and falls as it cools, so don’t freak out when it sinks in the middle.

1 Preheat the oven to 190˚C (170˚C fan). Lightly oil a 900ml-capacity loaf tin and line it with baking paper. 2 Melt the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water – don’t let the water boil. Carefully lift the bowl of chocolate off the saucepan and leave it to cool slightly.

3 Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and two-thirds of the sugar until pale and creamy. Add the Cointreau and beat until well combined, then add the chocolate and mix until completely incorporat­ed.

4 In a separate bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks.

5 In another bowl, start whisking the egg whites until soft peaks start to form, then gradually add the remaining sugar and keep whisking to firm peaks.

6 Gently fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, followed by the whisked egg whites.

7 Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, then sit the loaf tin inside a deep baking dish. Add enough hot water to come about 2.5cm up sides of the loaf tin. Bake for 45 minutes, then reduce oven temperatur­e to 170˚C (150˚C fan) and bake for a further 45 minutes. Turn the oven off, but leave the cake inside the oven for a further 20 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely.

8 To serve, carefully run a knife around the inside edge of the tin, then invert onto a plate – the cake should slide out easily.

Using a knife dipped in hot water, cut into slices, dipping the knife into hot water after each cut. Place on plates, dust with cocoa and serve with lightly whipped cream.

TIP This cake keeps well for 2 days at room temperatur­e; don’t put in the refrigerat­or or it will become hard and unpalatabl­e.

“This cake has a heavenly texture – like a soufflé.”

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