This recipe is adapted from Nigella Lawson's famous Chocolate Cloud Cake, but I like to add espresso powder to emphasis the flavour of the dark chocolate and a few drops of vanilla extract...
For the sponge
250g good-quality dark chocolate
125g butter, softened
6 eggs: 2 whole, 4 separated
175g caster sugar, separated into 100g and 75g measurements
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling:
450ml double cream
1 tbsp cocoa powder
tbsp instant espresso powder
Mini chocolate eggs, to decorate
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Line a 23cm springform cake tin with parchment paper and set aside. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a small pot of simmering water, allow to melt slowly, stirring gently to help it.
While the chocolate is melting, separate four of the eggs, place the whites in a mixing bowl. Put the yolks in a separate bowl along with the two whole eggs, 75g of caster sugar and the vanilla extract.
Using a handheld mixer, beat the contents of the bowl with the egg yolks until light and fluffy. Pour in the melted chocolate and butter and stir through until combined. Whisk the egg whites until foamy and then gradually add the remaining 100g of caster sugar. Continue to whisk until you are left with soft white peaks.
Using a spatula, mix a dollop of the egg whites through the chocolate mix until combined and then gently fold the rest through. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and place on the middle shelf to cook for 35 minutes, until the middle has risen up and is no longer wobbly. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool. As it cools, the middle should sink down and you will be left with a craterlike hole.
When you are ready to serve, whip the cream until firm but not stiff and then fold through the espresso powder and cocoa powder.
Dollop the cream into the crater of the cake and then pile mini chocolate eggs on top to decorate. Serve nice big hefty slices, and your guests won't be able to resist!
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