Ingredients / Shopping List
60g salted butter
100g dark chocolate
70g caster sugar
60g ground almonds
3 egg whites
2 egg yolks
6 Fresh apricots
1 tblsp Caster sugar
50g cooking chocolate
Apricot jam glaze
Prep to Cook: Pan, bowl, spatula, electric hand whisk, mixing bowl, basin, 6 deep sided muffin tins, For decoration: polythene piping bag, non-stick parchment paper, cling film, dariole moulds, small pan, tablespoon, basin, pastry brush.
Prep: Oven 180⁰C or Gas Mark 4
In a bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate, sugar, yolks and butter. Stir it gently until all is smooth and melted.
Whisk the egg whites in a mixing bowl until they are stiff and fluffy.
Fold the almonds into the melted chocolate.Take one spoonful at a time and fold into the egg whites.
Once the mixture is well mixed with an even colouration pour into the muffin tins.
Cook for about 20 minutes until gently bouncy to touch.
Remove and cool
Prepare the fruits:
Halve the fresh apricots (or use drained tinned apricots)
Cook very gently, covered for 30 mins with some caster sugar and 1 tblsp water
Slice strawberries from tip to stalk in several thin slices
Melt cooking chocolate and put into polythene piping bag.
Cover dariole moulds with cling film (or coffee cups).
Drizzle the chocolate over the tins to make a lace pattern.
Do the same on parchment circles to make chocolate doyley.
Allow to cool and set. Warm apricot jam with 1 tblsp juice from poached fruit
Present the cakes topped with glazed fruits (strawberries and apricots) on the top.
Place on chocolate doyley.
Fill lace baskets with extra fruits.
Serve single cream alongside in a jug.
Make sure the fruit is fresh and tangy to go alongside the light flour-free chocolate cakes. Serve them beautifully. The cakes provide a source of iron and minerals. The fruits give vitamin C and fibre.
Cooks Know How: In this recipe the skills are melting, whisking and folding. Baking is needed to turn the mixture into soft and moist chocolate cakes. Obviously poaching is also used if you prepare fresh apricots to serve with the cakes.
When melting mixtures the microwave can be used but it can overheat and cause the chocolate to split. A bowl over a pan of simmering water is foolproof and the gently heat melts the mixture well. The sugars need to dissolve, the butter melt and the egg yolks start to cook. After melting the ground almonds (nuts) are added to cool the chocolate mix ready for the egg whites.
Whisk the egg whites in a clean mixing bowl with a hand held mixer until the foam is stiff. It is essential to retain all the air bubbles in order that the cake is light and delicate. Over folding, or stirring, will undo all the good that the whisking has done by squashing out all the air bubbles. If you slacken the chocolate mixture with a little of the egg white foam first then subsequent additions of egg white will mix in more easily. Fold lightly and look for an even chocolate colour throughout the cake mix.
Cooking will allow the egg white proteins a chance to set (coagulate) and hold the cake lightly. Sugar in the mixture will caramelise and the flavours will develop. The cake should be lightly cooked, springy to touch and cooled out of the tin. Decorating and serving these cakes with plenty of stewed fruits shows off your skills and also adds nutrients such as Vitamin C to the dessert.
Adjusting the flavour by adding a teaspoon of coffee powder to the ground almonds can give these cakes a mocha style twist. Using the mixture to make a larger flat cake and decorate the top with a bigger range of fruits.