I noticed just now that my blog is woefully inadequate in the ways of chocolate! I find this strange, considering Stephen is a massive chocolate fan and Tim Tams are my best frenemy. When we were given Best of Bill by Bill Granger for Christmas this year, we knew that his chocolate mandarin cake was definitely going to make it onto the blog - it was just a matter of when.
You see, lately Stephen and I haven't had much time to cook (or clean/eat/sleep/bathe), mostly because of this new addition to our little family, which we bought the day we got back from the States:
Luckily he's big enough to live outside now, and without the need to chase him around the house as he steals a pair of Stephen's socks, triumphantly keeping them out of reach, we have more time to devote to our shared love of cooking/eating.
This cake was such a pleasure to devour. Mandarin was out of season, so we used orange, but it turned out quite well. As with most of Bill Granger's cakes, the eggs were separated and the beaten egg whites folded into the batter, making for a lighter, airier cake with a luscious, silken mouth-feel. The chocolate had a slightly bitter edge, emphasising the sweetness of the orange.
250g 70% dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
250g unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces
6 eggs, separated
115g caster sugar
3 tablespoons flour, sifted
25g almond meal
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Prepare a 23cm springform cake tin. Melt the chocolate and butter in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir over the heat until just melted, being careful not to overheat - remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until lightly combined. Add the chocolate mixture gradually, stirring constantly. Using a large metal spoon, fold throught the flour, almond meal and orange zest and juice.
3. Whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry metal bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold half of the egg whites in with the batter with a metal spoon until barely combined. Fold through the rest of the egg whites.
4. Bake for 35 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. Transfer to a plate and dust with some cocoa powder. Serve with orange slices.
The cake will firm up when cool, so don't worry if it's a little undercooked. Enjoy!