Serves 8 – 10
250g good-quality dark (bittersweet) chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons brandy or cognac
2 tablespoons strong espresso coffee
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar
200g ground almonds
6 eggs, separated
70g unsalted butter, melted
100g soft brown sugar
6 rhubarb stalks, chopped
a good pinch of ground cinnamon
icing sugar, for dusting
good-quality store-bought raspberry sorbet, to serve
Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F/Gas 2-3). Grease and line the base of a 28cm spring-form cake tine with baking paper.
Put the chocolate, brandy and coffee in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring to melt the chocolate. Add the butter and sugar, mixing well, then fold in the ground almonds. Remove from the heat.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks then add to the chocolate mixture.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk to egg whites to stiff peaks. Stir a spoonful into the chocolate mixture, mixing well, then fold in the remaining beaten egg whites.
Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes. The cake will have a delicate crust but be will be fudge-like in the centre. Cool completely in the tin before turning out.
To poach the rhubarb, combine the butter and sugar in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the rhubarb and cinnamon; cook slowly over low heat until the rhubarb but still holds its shape. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
To serve, cut the cake into wedges, dust with icing sugar and place on serving plates. Arrange the rhubarb and scoop of raspberry sorbet alongside.