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Chocolate and Brandy Torte

Preparation time: 10 min, plus cooling, Cooking time: 45 min, Cals per serving: 596 for 6, 446 for 8

ingredients

serves: 6-8
125 g (4 oz) butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
225 g (8 oz) plain chocolate, broken into pieces
3 large eggs, separated
125 g (4 oz) light muscovado sugar
4 tbsp brandy
75 g (3 oz) self-raising flour, sifted
55 g (2 oz) ground almonds
icing sugar sifted, to dust

method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan oven/Gas Mark 4. Grease and baseline a 20 cm (8 in) springform tin. Put the butter and chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and put to one side.

2. Whisk the egg yolks and light muscovado sugar until pale and creamy, then whisk in the brandy and melted chocolate on a low speed. Fold the self-raising flour and ground almonds into the chocolate mixture with a large metal spoon. Put the mixture to one side.

3. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Beat a large spoonful of the egg white into the chocolate mixture, then carefully fold in the remainder with a large metal spoon.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack. Remove the lining paper from the base of the cake when it is completely cold, then dust the top with icing sugar.

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