A classic no flour chocolate cake, made famous by River Café, makes a delicious accompaniment for afternoon tea. This cake freezes well.
100g (3½ oz) good quality chocolate, 70% solids or over
100g (3½ oz) butter
180g (6 oz) caster sugar
150g (5½ oz) ground almonds
50g (1¾ oz) cocoa powder
Chocolate Ganache Filling:
225g (8 oz) good quality dark chocolate
150ml (¼ pint) double cream
25g (1 oz) softened butter
Thick glacé icing
1. Place the chocolate and butter into a basin and put on the back of the AGA to melt, cool. Beat 5 egg whites until stiff, remove them from the mixer bowl and place in a basin, then put the sugar, the 5 egg yolks and 1 complete egg into the mixer bowl and whisk for 3 minutes (whisking the egg whites first means you do not need to wash up the mixer bowl between!).
2. Fold in the ground almonds and cocoa, then fold in the melted butter and chocolate. Add a tablespoon of the whisked egg white and fold this in then add the remaining egg whites and fold together. Divide the mixture between two 20cm (8 inch) cake tins.
Place the cake tins on the grid shelf set on the floor of the Roasting Oven with the cold plain shelf slide on the second runners down. Cook for about 25 minutes until the mixture is just firm.
3 and 4-oven AGA
Place the cake tins on the grid shelf on the fourth set of runners in the Baking Oven and cook for 25-30 minutes until the mixture is just firm.
Cook at 180ºC (350ºF), fan oven 160ºC, Gas Mark 4 for 25-30 minutes, until the mixture is just firm.
4. Let the cakes cool in the tins for 5 minutes then remove and cool on a wire rack. Whilst the cakes are cooking make the chocolate ganache filling. Melt the chocolate in a mixing bowl. Heat the cream to boiling point and pour onto the melted chocolate lightly mix together with a balloon whisk adding the butter in two stages. Leave this mixture to cool until spreadable.
5. Sandwich the cakes together with the chocolate ganache. Decorate the top with ribbons of thick icing (made by mixing sieved icing sugar with water).