If you were only to bake one chocolate cake for the rest of your life, this may just be it. Each year my sister-in-law Rachael spoils us with chocolate covered dates from Abu Dhabi where she lives and teaches. Although sweet on sweet shouldn’t be this good, the two flavours together have our household fighting over the last one in the box!
This cake is incredibly rich and decadent and the center is purposefully undercooked, leaving a fudgey texture you’ll crave long after the cake is gone.
Serves 8 hungry sweet-tooth’s
¼ cup Cointreau
¼ cup orange juice
1 cup chopped dates
200g butter, chopped
180g dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons cocoa, sifted
4 eggs, separated
1 cup caster sugar
Zest of 2 oranges
2 cups ground almonds
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 22cm round spring-form cake pan and line with baking paper.
Soak dates at least three hours beforehand or overnight in orange juice and Cointreau. (If you don’t have time leave out the orange juice and just add dates and Cointreau as they are – dates will just be chewier).
Place butter, chocolate and cocoa in a double-boiler over low heat. Melt, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl to cool slightly.
With very clean electric beaters beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Set aside. Next beat egg yolks and sugar for 5 minutes or until thick.
Add chocolate mixture, date mixture and ground almonds to egg yolk mixture. Stir to combine. Gently fold half the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Repeat with remaining egg whites. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool cake completely in pan. I sieve extra cocoa on top and serve with cream or yogurt.