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 ...
150 g (5oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
300 g (11oz) dark chocolate, in drops or broken into pieces
5 eggs, separated
50 g (2oz) golden caster sugar
finely grated zest of 2 small oranges
for the caramelisd oranges
125 g (41/2 oz) caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4), then butter the base and sides of the cake tin (20cm/8”). If you’re using a spring-form tin, make sure the base is upside down, so there’s no lip and the cake can slide off easily when cooked.
Place the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water, Leave just until melted, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat.
Using an electric hand-held beater or an electric food mixer, whisk together the egg yolks and half the sugar until pale and thick. Fold in the melted chocolate and the orange zest and mix together to combine.
Using the hand-held beater or food mixer (and a spotlessly clean bowl in either case), whisk the egg whites together with the remaining sugar until they are stiff and glossy. Gently fold this into the chocolate mixture, then tip into the prepared cake tin and bake for 20–25 minutes or until puffed up and slightly cracked around the edges.
Allow to sit in the tin for 20 minutes, and then use a small, sharp knife to loosen the edges and remove the sides of the tin before carefully transferring to a serving plate.
For the caramelisd oranges, using a small, sharp knife and working over a bowl to catch the juices, peel all the oranges. First cut the ends off each orange, and then carefully cut away the peel and pith in a spiral until you have a fully peeled orange with only flesh and no pith.
Squeeze all the juice from the orange trimmings into the bowl, then cut the peeled oranges crossways into slices 5mm (1?4in) thick and add these to the orange juice.
Place the sugar and 75ml (3fl oz) of water in a saucepan and set over a medium heat. Stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar, then increase the heat and bring to the boil.
Without stirring the mixture, continue to boil, uncovered, for about 5–8 minutes or until you have a deep whiskey-coloured caramel. As the mixture caramelises you can swirl the pan to ensure it browns evenly.
Pour in a further 75ml (3fl oz) of water and swirl the pan over a low heat to dissolve the caramel. Remove from the heat, then tip the orange slices and any juice into the caramel and allow to cool.
Transfer to a bowl and serve with the Chocolate and orange torte, with or without some lightly whipped cream.