“I am allergic to most grains so am always on the lookout for desserts and treats that don’t contain them. This cake is so absolutely divine and has little sugar, no grains and lots of protein from all the eggs. (We’ll just ignore the fat content for now!) It is really my sister Susannah’s recipe and she makes it better than I do, but with ingredients like these it’s hard to totally mess it up. The raspberries really add a lot so try to include them. Oh, and don’t forget to prepare this the night before, as it needs to chill overnight.”
9 large eggs
1.5 pounds semi-sweet chocolate (use Lindt 70 or 85 percent for best flavour, not baking chocolate)
3 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup raspberries (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare pan by greasing whole pan and then covering the bottom with a round of parchment paper cut to fit the pan. Grease the parchment paper.
Place the whole eggs in their shells, in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler, whisking occasionally. Cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. It will remain warm but the excess heat will have dissipated.
Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a bowl, beat on high speed with a whisk attachment if you have a mixer, or really hard and fast with a whisk if not, until triple in volume, pale yellow, light and spongy, and thick enough to hold a very soft peak.
Add a quarter of the egg mixture to the cooled chocolate. Gently combine by hand, using a whisk, just to lighten the chocolate mixture. Add the remaining eggs and fold them in, first with a whisk and then with a rubber spatula. The batter will deflate a bit, but try to retain as much volume as possible. The mixture will be smooth, thick and homogenous in colour and look like a chocolate mousse.
Scrape the batter into the pan. If using the raspberries, sprinkle them over the surface and poke them into the batter with your finger. they should be submerged at different levels.
Place the pan in a larger pan and fill this second pan with 1-inch of hot water. Bake for 17 minutes or until the surface loses its sheen. If the pan tilts slightly, the edges of the cake pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven and cool on a rack until room temperature. Cover the top with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
How to remove the cake from the pan:
If the edges of the cake are slightly higher than the middle, use a sharp knife to trim them off, making the cake level. Run the bottom of the pan under hot water. The cake won’t fall out even though it’s upside down. Warm a spatula or blunt knife under hot water and then dry it. Run the spatula around the sides of the cake, pressing outwards towards the pan. Take a plate and place it on top of the cake. Turn the cake over, holding the plate in place by looping your fingers down around the bottom. Make a few quick twisting motions and you should feel the cake begin to slip out. If it doesn’t, repeat the warm water step. When it starts to slide down and out of the pan, lower the cake onto the table and gently lift the pan off completely. Peel off the parchment.
I like it served with more fresh raspberries, some fresh whipped cream, and a glass of veuve clicquot!