Easter Flourless Chocolate Cake – Sponsored by Kenwood Ireland
This is a dense chocolate truffle-like sponge topped with a cloud of whipped cream, chocolate nest and mini chocolate eggs. A chocolate-lovers dream, and, it’s gluten free!
For the sponge:
- 350g good quality 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 175g unsalted butter
- 1 tsp instant coffee
- 250g white granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ slab good quality 70% dark chocolate
- ½ slab good quality milk chocolate
- ½ slab good quality white chocolate
- 250ml whipping cream
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- Mini chocolate eggs of your choice
- Melt together chocolate and butter in a small heat-proof bowl set over simmering water until smooth. Alternatively, melt in the microwave in short 10-20 seconds bursts, stirring between each burst, until melted, then stir well to combine.
- Set aside and leave to cool to room temperature. Tip: To help speed up cooling, wrap bowl in a cold and wet kitchen towel or transfer mixture to a new bowl, and stir occasionally.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 160°C / 140°C fan assisted. Line the bottom of a 23cm (9inch) springform tin and grease the sides with butter.
- In a small bowl or cup, dissolve instant coffee with 2 tsp boiling water. Set aside to cool.
- Using the whisk attachment on your Kenwood stand mixer, whisk together sugar, eggs and salt. Start on a medium speed then increase to high until mixture is thick and a very pale yellow. The volume should treble in size.
- Add the cooled dissolved coffee and vanilla and whisk in.
- Remove mixing bowl from stand mixer and pour in the room temperature chocolate mixture. Use a large spoon or spatula to fold together until the batter is a uniform colour. It’s okay to lose a bit of volume after mixing together.
- Pour batter into prepared tin and bake until the cake is puffed up and set around the edges, but the middle still has a bit of wobble if you gently shake the pan, between 40-45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. The cake will deflate as it cools and will sink in the middle.
- Once completely cool, dip a sharp knife in boiling water, dry the blade and run the hot blade around the edges of the sponge to separate from the tin. Unclip the tin’s collar and remove, then carefully transfer sponge to a serving plate until ready to decorate.
- To decorate, start by making the chocolate shavings for the nest. Soften the slabs of chocolate very slightly by microwaving for 10-15 seconds. The dark chocolate will need a little longer and the white chocolate will need the least amount of time as it is naturally softer.
- Place slab of chocolate with the back of the slab (the smooth side) facing up. Use a sharp straight-edged knife to shave long curled shavings. Carefully place the shavings on a cool board or plate and set aside until needed. You won’t need to shave all of the chocolate, just enough to make the nest, so save the leftover chocolate for baking or snacking! Tip: This can be done ahead of time or while the sponge is baking or cooling.
- Whip together the cream and icing sugar to medium stiff peaks then spoon the whipped cream onto the cooled sponge in a big mound. Use the back of the spoon to flatten slightly for the nest to sit on.
- Use the chocolate shavings to form a rustic nest with a slight dip in the middle and built up around the edges, alternating the dark, milk and white chocolate shavings. Tip: It’s best to use a fork to pick up the shavings rather than your fingers to avoid melting and breaking.
- Arrange mini chocolate eggs inside the nest and serve! Tip: For best results when cutting and serving, use a sharp straight-edged blade heated in boiling water and wiped dry between each cut.