From our Pop-Up Cafe – Chocolate, Almond and Pistachio Cake with Violets

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.

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