##We’re going to dive into a “new normal” chocolate feast that gives our Señor Brownie a run for his money. This recipe, borrowed from my friends Chris and Carolyn Caldicott from their book, ‘World Food Café’, is flour-free, so celiac-friendly, but with plenty of butter and real chocolate. If you are feeling a touch melancholy with the post-lockdown blues, it is the recipe to maintain your spiritual equilibrium, although perhaps not on the weighing scales!
Preheat the oven to 190C / 375 F / gas 5 and grease a 23cm / 9 inch, loose-bottomed cake tin well with butter.
Start to melt the chocolate and the butter over a large pan of simmering water. Mix together well and set aside to cool.
Using a whisk, bet the egg whites until really stiff and the peaks stand up on their own. Still whisking, add the caster sugar followed by the egg yolks. If you can’t get caster sugar, grind granulated sugar in a mixer before you use it. When you have added the egg yolks you should end up with a creamy mixture.
Gently spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin, being careful not to squash the air out of the mix. Bake for approximately 55 minutes. It will rise up a little like a soufflé but will sink back down as it cools. Serve with crème fraîche. The cake is fantastic with pickled cherries or other red sharp fruits.
You can’t rush chocolate — you have to seduce it. When melting it in the bain-marie, take care that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and stir it continuously so it melts evenly.
French Chocolate Cake
Ingredients (serves 8-10)
• 225 gm / 8 oz unsalted butter, plus more for the cake pan
• 200 gm / 7 oz plain chocolate (of at least 72% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
• 6 large free-range eggs, separated
• 200 gm / 7 oz caster sugar
• Icing sugar, for dusting
• Crème fraîche, to serve