I use really high quality chocolate for this recipe, because the better the chocolate the better the overall depth of flavour of the cake. I also use raw cane sugar by Billingtons – the colour and crystal structure creates both flavour and texture.
Violets are dainty, fragrant flowers with a fugitive aroma, so pick them at the last minute, so they do not fade. Keep them on a wet tea towel or kitchen towel till required.
Ingredients to serve 8 people
225g unsalted butter
200g raw cane sugar
5 eggs, separated
100g almonds, coarsely ground
100g pistachios, coarsely ground
200g dark chocolate, coarsely ground
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
Zest on one unwaxed lemon
A handful of fresh violets
Fresh cream for serving
Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees C. Butter and line a 25cm springform cake tin with parchment.
Beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy – this takes at least 5 minutes in a food mixer.
Add the egg yolks, gradually, then the almonds, pistachios, chocolate, vanilla seeds and lemon zest.
In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites till they form soft peaks. Fold into the chocolate mixture carefully, using a metal spoon. Ensure all the air is kept into the mix, because there is no raising agent.
Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for I hour in the pre-heated oven. Test with a skewer, and when this comes out completely clean, the cake feels springy to the touch. Cool on a wire rack and decorate with fresh violets.
Serve with fresh cream.