Mary Berry’s Divine Chocolate Birthday Cake
It’s not a particularly seasonal recipe, but home-made, which always counts for something. So another November and another birthday, calling for… this cake, which is truly delicious, wheat free and very high in chocolate. I changed the apricot jam to local damson jam to get a more fruit taste.
The recipe features in Mary Berry’s Baking Bible (also online here), which my good parents bought me for Christmas last year. I can say the book is now looking very marked in finger prints, splashes and folded corners – exactly how a cook book should be!
- 6 large eggs, 5 of them separated
- 215g (7½oz) caster sugar
- 265g (9½oz) plain chocolate (39 per cent cocoa solids)
- 1 level tsp instant coffee granules
- 1tsp hot water
- 150g (5oz) ground almonds
For the chocolate icing:
- 4tbsp apricot jam
- 225g (8oz) plain chocolate (39 per cent cocoa solids)
- 100g (4 z) unsalted butter
- Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5. Grease a 23 cm (9 in) deep round cake tin then line the base with baking parchment.
- Place the egg yolks and whole egg in a large bowl with the sugar and beat together until thick and light in colour. Melt the chocolate gently in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Dissolve the coffee granules in the water and add to the melted chocolate. Cool slightly, then stir into the egg mixture along with the ground almonds.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Carefully fold into the egg and chocolate mixture. Turn into the prepared tin and gently level the surface.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 50 minutes or until well risen, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.
- Measure the apricot jam into a small saucepan and allow to melt over a low heat. Brush over the cake. To make the icing, melt the chocolate gently in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, stirring occasionally. Add the butter and stir until the icing has the consistency of thick pouring cream, cooling if necessary.
- Stand the wire rack on a baking tray to catch any drips, then pour the icing over the cake smoothing it over the top and sides with a palette knife. Allow to set, then decorate if you like.