Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
225 g (8oz) dark chocolate, in drops or broken into pieces
225 g (8oz) ground almonds
250 g (9oz) caster sugar
150 g (5oz) butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
6 eggs, beaten
4 tblsp rum
8 blanched almonds, to decorate
softly whipped cream or creme fraiche, to serve
for the glaze
75 ml (3fl oz) double or regular cream
125 g (41/2 oz) dark chocolate, in drops
or broken into pieces
2 tblsp rum
20cm (8in) diameter spring-form cake tin
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4), then butter the sides of the cake tin and line the base with a disc of baking parchment. Make sure the base of the tin is upside down, so there’s no lip and the cake can slide off easily when cooked.
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water. Leave just until melted, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat and set aside. Place the ground almonds, sugar and butter in a food processor and whiz until well mixed.
Add the eggs, rum and melted chocolate and whiz until blended. Tip the cake mixture into the prepared tin and cook for 38–45 minutes or until puffed up and slightly cracked on the surface but still quite moist in the centre – a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake will still be slightly sticky.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then loosen the sides using a small, sharp knife and carefully remove the cake from the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool down fully. While the cake is baking, or while it’s cooling, make the glaze.
Pour the cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then take off the heat, add
the chocolate, stirring to melt, and mix in the rum. Transfer the cooled cake to a serving plate and pour over the chocolate glaze (reheating if necessary), then decorate with the blanched almonds by placing these in an evenly spaced circle, with the nuts pointing inwards, around the edge of the cake. Serve in slices with softly whipped cream or crème fraiche.