this recipe requires a bit of work, and technique, but is definitely worth the effort. From the doyen's own recipe collection, she says 'if I had to choose only one chocolate cake recipe to carry me through life, this would have to be it.'
Suggest you read the comments as well
4 tbsp flaked almonds
1 cup boiling water
125g dark chocolate, chopped
1 tsp bicarb. soda
250g unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups castor sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 1/2 cups plain flour
a pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup light sour cream
Preheat oven to 180deg C
Generously butter a three litre fluted tin or 2x 20cm ring tins
Sprinkle with the flaked almonds, pressing them well into the butter coating
Put the boiling water, chocolate and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Leave to cool.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition.
Stir in the vanilla essence. Add the chocolate mixture a little at a time, beating well.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder and fold in the sour cream, mixing lightly until combined.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture with a large metal spoon.
Pour into the prepared tins, and bake for 1 hour -1 1/4 hours for a large cake, 45 minutes for smaller cakes.
Test for doneness with a clean metal skewer.
Leave for a minute, and turn out to cool on a wire rack.