This readers' recipe appeared in Epicure in 2011 and was voted one of the best by writer Richard Cornish. "Patricia Murray's adaptation of a recipe published in Epicure in the 1990s was for a heavy cake. On our tasters' request we upped the chocolate to create a moist cake made lighter by gently folding in fluffy egg whites. It is best made the day before eating and good served with cream, berries and a dusting of icing sugar. It is even better, according to Mrs Murray, with a handful of dried sour cherries added to the batter before pouring into the cake tin."
125g castor sugar
125g unsalted butter
220g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
4 eggs, separated
2 rounded tbsp cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
■ Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin, spring-form preferably.
■ Melt the butter, either in a bowl in the microwave or in a bowl over a saucepan of water brought to the boil then removed from the heat. Add sugar and chocolate.
■ When the chocolate is melted but not too hot (below 50C) gently beat the egg yolks, add to the chocolate and butter and mix together well. Add the cornflour, baking powder and vanilla essence. Mix well.
■ In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mix to soften the mixture then, bit by bit, gradually and gently fold through the remaining stiff egg whites.
■ Pour into the cake tin and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 160C and bake 15 minutes more or until a skewer, when inserted into the cake, comes out clean.
■ Remove from the oven, leave to rest for 10 minutes, then turn out of the tin to cool on a wire rack.
** Read Richard Cornish's chocolate cake story here.