250g dark chocolate minimum 70%
cocoa solids; 125g unsalted butter, softened; 6 eggs: 2 whole, 4
separated; 175g caster sugar: 75g in the cake, 100g in whites; 2
tbspns Cointreau (optional); grated zest of an orange
(optional); 23cm springform cake tin
Cream topping: 500ml double
cream; 1 tsp vanilla extract; 1 tbspn Cointreau (optional); half
tsp unsweetened cocoa powder for sprinkling
Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/gas
mark 4. Line the bottom of a 23cm Springform cake tin with baking
parchment. 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 75g caster 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 100g of sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape
but not too stiff. Lighten the chocolate mixture with a dollop of
egg whites, and then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into the
prepared tin and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake
is risen and cracked and the centre is no longer wobbly. Cool the
cake in it's tin on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools.
you are ready to eat, place the still tin-bound cake on a cake stand
or plate for serving and carefully remove the cake from its tin.
Don't worry about cracks or rough edges: it's the crater look we're
going for here. Whip the cream until soft and then add the vanilla
and Cointreau and continue whisking until the cream is firm but not
stiff. Fill the crater of the cake with the whipped cream, easing it
out gently towards the edges of the cake, and dust the top lightly
with cocoa powder pushed through a tea-strainer.