Growing up on a working Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast while holding on to the apron strings of her mother, Catherine Fulvio (nee Byrne) was destined ...
6 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tblsp caster sugar
150 g butter
2 tblsp amaretto
350 g bittersweet chocolate (chopped)
60 g ground almonds (lightly toasted)
1 tblsp ground almonds for dusting
icing sugar, to decorate
mascarpone or whipped cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Generously butter a 23-cm springform cake tin and lightly dust with about 1 tbsp ground almonds. Turn the pan upside down and shake out the excess. Wrap two layers of foil around the outside of the bottom of the cake tin.
Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer at top speed for 8–10 minutes, until they become light and turn a cream colour, with lots of volume.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the amaretto. Set aside.
Pour about 5cm of hot water in a large saucepan and keep it at a simmer. Place a mixing bowl (preferably ceramic) on top of the saucepan, ensuring that the base of the bowl does not touch the water.
Add the melted butter mixture and the chocolate to the bowl and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove the bowl immediately and allow to cool slightly.
Fold one-third of the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, then pour this mix back in with the remaining two-thirds of the egg. Add the almonds and fold very gently until the chocolate and egg are incorporated. It’s important not to overmix in order to keep as much air as possible in the batter. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
Sit the tin into a deep baking tray to form a bain marie and place in the preheated oven. Pour in enough hot water to come about one-third up the sides of the cake tin. Bake for 25–30 minutes.
When ready, the top of the cake will lose its glossiness, will be slightly wobbly in the centre and an inserted skewer should come out gooey. It should not bake so long that it cracks.
Let the cake cool completely in its tin on a wire rack. Run a small knife around the edge of the cake to remove the outer ring. Dust the top of the cake with icing sugar and serve with mascarpone or whipped cream.