Easter nest cake

🎵 Oh I wish it could be Easter everyday 🎵 Wait, sorry, wrong holiday. However as my husband is a complete chocoholic I suspect this song is in his head most of the time. He looooooooves this cake, because it is a chocolately delight. It’s a flourless sponge which rises in the oven then falls and cracks spectacularly creating the nest appearance, which you then fill with chocolate cream. It’s one of Nigella’s recipe that I’ve made again and again and it never fails. Serves at least 10.

Ingredients

Cake:

250g dark chocolate

125g unsalted butter (I use stork)

6 large eggs (4 of which separated)

175g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate cream:

125g dark chocolate

250ml double cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

Mini eggs and a dusting of cocoa powder to decorate

Method

  1. Heat oven to 160C fan and line the bottom of a 23cm (ish) springform tin with baking paper – do not grease the sides or the cake will not rise up properly. Get an electric whisk out and ready.
  2. Chop all of the chocolate (for both the cake and chocolate cream).
  3. Put 250g of the chopped chocolate a small bowl set over a pan of boiling water (but not touching it), along with the butter and melt together. Do this in the microwave if you prefer. Set aside to cool a bit.
  4. Grab a second bowl and whisk the 4 egg whites until firm, then add 100g only of the sugar a little at a time, still whisking, until stiff and shiny. Set aside.
  5. Into bowl number three (a large bowl) put the other 75g sugar, vanilla, 2 whole eggs, and 4 egg yolks. Whisk until thickened a bit and much lighter in colour.
  6. Gently fold in the melted chocolate until uniform in colour and completely combined.
  7. Next, fold in one large spoonful of the egg whites until combined, then fold in the rest in 3 batches. It will take a little while, but you don’t want to end up with lumps of egg white, so gently keep on folding and you’ll get there.
  8. Scrape into the prepared tin and bake for 35-45 minutes until no longer wobbly – the length of time may vary depending on the size of your tin.
  9. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a wire rack. It will deflate and look decidedly like its all gone wrong. Don’t worry, it hasn’t. When cool, remove the tin and set the cake on your serving dish.
  10. To make the chocolate cream, melt the rest of the chocolate in which ever way you prefer and leave to cool a little.
  11. Whip the cream and vanilla until it thickens and forms soft peaks. Yes, this is the fourth bowl you’ve used, but I promise it is the last. Stir in the melted chocolate and dollop into the cake crater, smoothing it out before dusting over some cocoa powder and a scattering of mini eggs
  12. Get someone else to do the washing up!

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