200 g 70% cocoa dark chocolate, broken into pieces
200 g unsalted butter, cubed
250 g caster sugar
5 eggs, separated
230 g almond meal
2 tsp ground cardamom
finely grated zest of 1 orange
cocoa powder or icing sugar, for dusting
Vanilla creme fraiche
250- 300 g creme fraiche
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp confectioners' sugar icing, sieved
- Grease and line the base of a 23cm springform or loose-bottomed cake tin. In a heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave or over a pan of barely simmering water. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter have melted. Stir well to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Preheat oven to 170°C fan-forced (190°C).
- Put the sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl and using electric beaters, whisk for 4-5 minutes until pale and creamy. Wash the beaters throughly. Put the eggwhites in a clean grease-free bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form.
- Once the chocolate mixture has cooled slightly, stir into the egg and sugar mixture. Then fold in the ground almonds, cardamom and orange zest. Stir 2 tablespoons of the ggwhites into the mixture to loosen, then gently fold in the remaining eggwhite.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is starting to pull away from the sides. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove from tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, combine the vanilla crème fraîche ingredients.
- Dust cooled cake with cocoa powder or icing sugar to serve. Serve cut in wedges or rectangles, accompanied by the vanilla crème fraîche.