By Linda Collister
Very pretty and special – For Valentine’s Day
Makes one large cake
For the sponge:
200g Divine Dark Chocolate, broken up (available at supermarkets)
4 tbsps Amaretto Disaronno (amaretti liqueur)
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar plus 3 tbsps extra
6 large free-range eggs, at room temperature, separated
A good pinch cream of tartar
A good pinch of salt
100g ground almonds
125g plain flour
25g flaked almonds
125g fresh raspberries
For the icing:
150g Divine Dark Chocolate, broken up (available at supermarkets)
1 tablespoon Amaretto Disaronno
125g unsalted butter, softened
1 heaped tbsp golden syrup
To decorate: fresh raspberries, icing sugar, chocolate shards or curls
21cm springform tin, greased and base-lined
Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas 4.
Put the chocolate and Amaretto into a heatproof bowl.
Set over a pan of steaming hot but not boiling water and leave to melt gently.
Remove the bowl from the pan, stir the chocolate gently until smooth then leave to cool until needed.
Beat the butter until creamy, using a wooden spoon or an electric whisk. Then beat in the 200g sugar (save the rest for later). When the mixture looks very light and fluffy beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a clean whisk until just frothy, then add the cream of tartar and the salt and continue whisking until the mixture is thick and stands in soft peaks when the whisk is lifted. Whisk in the reserved 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Using a large metal spoon gently fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture, followed by the ground almonds. Add a quarter of the egg whites and fold in. Sift half the flour on to the mixture and fold in, then half the remaining egg whites. Repeat with the remaining flour and whites. Gently fold in the flaked almonds and raspberries, using just a couple of movements so the mixture is not over-worked, then spoon the mixture into the tin and spread evenly.
Bake in the heated oven for 55-60 minutes until just firm to touch and a cocktail stick inserted into the centre (avoiding the fruit) comes out clean. Run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the tin then leave to cool and firm up on a wire rack for 15 minutes before unclipping the tin.
When completely cold set the cake on a serving platter.
To make the icing melt the chocolate with the Amaretto as before, remove the bowl from the pan and stir in the butter and syrup to make a smooth and glossy icing. Leave to cool, stirring form time to time, until thick enough to spread over the top and sides of the cake.
Leave to set and just before serving decorate with raspberries. Dust with icing sugar and chocolate shards or curls.