Squidgy Chocolate Cake
In the late ’70s this cake went down a storm, and still people tell me they always have it on their birthday! Because it is not made with flour it’s incredibly light and soufflé-like.
Then it’s filled and topped with chocolate mousse, whipped cream and shards of chocolate. It’s also great at Easter, decorated with sugar-coated chocolate eggs.
Start off by making the chocolate filling. Put the broken-up chocolate and water in a bowl over a pan containing 5cm of barely simmering water, without the bowl touching the water. When it has melted (5–10 minutes), take it off the heat and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Now separate two of the eggs and beat the yolks, first on their own, then into the warm chocolate mixture. Let it cool a bit.
Now, with an absolutely clean whisk, whisk the egg whites till stiff and fold them into the chocolate mixture. Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 30–45 minutes. Then remove from the refrigerator, or it will get too stiff.
Now for the cake. First separate the remaining six large eggs, putting the whites into a large mixing bowl and the yolks into another. Whisk the yolks with an electric hand whisk until they begin to thicken. Then add the caster sugar and continue whisking until the mixture feels thick – but don’t overdo it, it shouldn’t be starting to turn pale.
Now quickly whisk in the cocoa powder.
Next, using a clean dry whisk, beat the egg whites till they are stiff and form little peaks. At this point, take a metal spoon and carefully fold them into the egg yolk mixture, gently and thoroughly and making sure you get right down to the bottom of the bowl with the spoon.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, spread it evenly with the back of a tablespoon and bake on a highish shelf in the oven for about 20–25 minutes until risen and puffy like a soufflé (it won’t look as if it’s cooked – but it will be).
Remove it from the oven and don’t be alarmed as it starts to sink because it’s supposed to be – when it is cool, it will look crinkly on the surface.
To turn the cake out, place a piece of baking parchment on a flat surface. Then, before you turn it out, gently loosen the sides of the cake away from the liner, and turn it out onto the paper.
Lift the tin away from the cake and carefully peel off the lining. Now cut the cake evenly in half (not lengthways – i.e. you need to end up with two squarish oblongs).
Now to prepare the topping and filling: first place the chocolate on a board and, with a large sharp knife, cut it into thin shards starting at one end and working all along it. Next whip the cream until quite thick.
Now place one half of the cake on a serving plate, then, using a palette knife, spread half the chocolate mixture over one half of the cake, and about a quarter of the cream over the chocolate and sprinkle it with half of the chopped chocolate. Place the other half of the cake on top, forming a sandwich (a pan slice will assist you here).
Now spread the rest of the chocolate mixture on top, and then cover the whole cake (sides as well) with whipped cream.
Sprinkle the remaining chopped chocolate all over the top of the cake. Keep it covered loosely with foil or clingfilm in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
We think this is best eaten on the same day but it will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.