This is made with dark chocolate, not cocoa powder, to give it added moisture.
Makes 2x500g (1lb 2oz) cakes
Note: You will need two 18x18 loaf tins
200g (7oz) fine dark chocolate (bittersweet) 70% cocoa, chopped
180g (6 ½ oz/1 ¾ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus a little extra, softened, for greasing the tins (pans)
125g (4 ½ oz) egg yolks (about 6 eggs)
200g (7oz) egg whites (about 7 eggs)
225g (8oz/1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
A pinch of salt
100g (3 ½ oz/ 2/3 cup) plain (all purpose) flour, sifted
75g (2 ½ oz/1 cup) ground almonds
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F/Gas 4). Lightly grease the tins (pans) with butter and line the bases with baking paper. Melt the chocolate over a water bath until it reaches 45C. Add the butter to the melted chocolate and allow it to melt. Mix until the butter is fully incorporated.
2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and half the sugar by hand until light and smooth. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites wit the remaining sugar to form a soft peak meringue. Mix the egg yolk and sugar mixture into the melted chocolate and fold in the flour and ground almonds. Then fold in the meringue in two stages.
3. Pour the mixture into the tins and bake in the preheated oven. After 10 minutes, when the cakes start to form a skin, score down the centre of the cakes with a sharp knife. Continue to cook for another 35 minutes until the cakes are slightly springy in the centres. Leave to cool before removing from the tins.
Couture Chocolate by William Curley is out on 25 October, published by Jacqui Small.