It’s my birthday this weekend, so what else could I do but treat myself to my favourite cake? This is not your typical afternoon tea style birthday cake.. I generally like to celebrate birthdays with some sort of boozy evening shenanigans so this is more of a dinner party pudding. Based on a Nigella Lawson recipe, it’s incredibly chocolately but remains quite light, and I’ve tweaked it to include all my favourite flavours – dark chocolate, chilli and orange. Whilst it is gluten free there is absolutely nothing healthy about it because what are birthdays without some pure indulgence? The boozy cream on the side is quite literally the icing on the cake.
250g dark chilli chocolate (I use Montezumas because it has a good 72% cocoa content)
6 eggs – 4 separated, 2 whole
175g caster sugar
1 tbsp Cointreau
For the boozy cream
200ml double cream
50g icing sugar
2 tbsp Cointreau and 2 good squeezes of orange juice
For the chocolate sauce
125g dark chocolate, (70-85% cocoa content) finely chopped
250ml double cream
2 tbsp cointreau
Preheat the oven to 180 and grease and baseline a 23cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
Put the butter and chocolate into a heat proof bowl and gently melt together on a low heat in the microwave, or over a pan of boiling water, stirring regularly.
Put the egg whites into a bowl and use an electric beater to whisk until firm. Gradually add 100g of sugar, whisking as you go, until the whites are glossy and hold firm but not stiff peaks.
Zest the orange into a separate bowl, then cut it in half and give each half a good squeeze in- leaving a little juice in the orange for the boozy cream. Add the cointreau, egg yolks, 2 whole eggs and remaining 75g sugar and whisk together before folding in the chocolate mixture.
Gently fold in the egg whites, trying not to knock out too much of the volume.
Pour into the tin, then bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until risen and cracked.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin- it will sink in the middle and crack round the edges but this is part of the process so don’t panic!
For the boozy cream..whisk together the cointreau and a final couple of squeezes of orange juice with the icing sugar, then slowly whisk in the double cream until whipped and light.
For the sauce, put the cream and chocolate into a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring often. Remove it from the heat when the cream is warm but not boiling, and stir vigorously to melt all the chocolate. Whisk in the cointreau.
Serve the cake at room temperature or slightly warmed with a good dollop of boozy cream on the side and a drizzle of warm chocolate sauce.