Tessa: For those of you planning the last big indulgence before the “get fit” New Year’s Resolution kicks in January 1st, be sure to squeeze this Nigella recipe in under the wire. When Dave heard me offer to make Christmas Eve dessert he looked horrified. I don’t blame him really because I have something of a haphazard baking style that usually results in disaster. Somehow this doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm and I’m happy to report that this yummy Chocolate Cloud Cake turned out quite nicely. Also, for all of you who can’t eat wheat this is a perfect dessert that tastes surprisingly like chocolate brownies.
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
6 eggs; 2 whole, 4 separated
3/4 cup superfine sugar
2 tbsp Cointreau (optional) but I say use the booze
grated zest of 1 orange (optional)
9 inch springform pan
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp Cointreau (optional but as above)
1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa for sprinkling
How to make this luscious beast:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line baking pan with parchment or grease.
Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or a microwave and then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate. Beat the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 1/3 of the sugar, then gently add the chocolate mixture, the Cointreau and orange zest.
In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the remaining sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape but are not to stiff. Lighten the chocolate mixture with a dollop of egg whites, and then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into the the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool the cake in its pan and don’t be surprised when the cake sinks into the middle. Whip the cream with the Cointreau. I cheated and added a little bit of sugar because well, I like my whipping cream to be sweet. Pile the whipped the cream on top, sprinkle with cocoa and enjoy.