Gateau Lawrence

This flourless chocolate cake is from a recipe book by Joanne Harris called French Kitchen, which helpfully includes an entire chapter on chocolate, including the chilli hot chocolate referred to in Chocolat. It’s extremely dense and heavy, a sticky feast of a cake, and as you can see from the above picture, very soft. The lines of my wire rack cut into the cake, and the middle fell out and had to be squished in again. I iced it to make it look a little nicer, but it would be just as lovely without icing. Rather than ground almonds, I used ground hazelnuts, which give the cake a much nuttier flavour.

180g dark chocolate
175g butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
200g ground almonds
4 eggs, separated

Heat the oven to 150C. Line a 25cm cake tin with baking paper.

Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.

Cream together the butter and sugar until soft and creamy. Add the ground almonds, egg yolks and melted chocolate, and beat until evenly blended. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, add to the cake mixture and quickly fold in.

Pour into cake tin, and bake for 35 minutes. A light crust will form on the top and the middle should still be a little squishy. Leave to cool a little before carefully removing from tin.

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