Chocolate Aperol Cake

The best write-up for this cake is to have a slice of it…. It is a cake that rises up high and then falls back on itself, thereby creating a dense looking texture that is actually quite airy in one’s mouth. It is a cake that is pure chocolate indulgence, but without the sticky sweetness normally associated with chocolate. It is a cake that is delicately cracked and delightfully imperfect. It is a cake you will never forget once you have tasted it…

340g dark chocolate, chopped
140g butter, cubed
45ml Aperol
15ml vanilla
1.2ml salt
6 eggs, separated
83ml + 83ml + 15ml caster sugar
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat your oven to 180℃.
Butter a 25cm loose-bottom cake tin and dust the bottom and sides with caster sugar. Put aside.
Add the chopped chocolate and cubed butter to a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate has melted completely and the mixture is smooth.
Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the Aperol, vanilla and salt.
Cool the mixture for at least 5 minutes.
Add the 6 egg yolks and 83ml caster sugar to a small mixing bowl and whisk it by hand for about a minute.
Now whisk this mixture into the chocolate mixture.
Allow the chocolate mixture to cool to room temperature.

Add the 6 egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer and add a pinch of salt. Attach the whisk attachment and whip the whites on medium speed, until they reach soft peak stage.
Keep the machine running at medium speed and gradually (a teaspoon at a time) add the 83ml and 15ml caster sugar. Do not become impatient when adding the sugar!! Once all the sugar has been added you will be left with a glossy mixture that holds stiff peaks.
Spoon a third of the egg white mixture into the room temperature chocolate mixture and stir it through to lighten the chocolate mixture.
Add the rest of the egg white mixture and gently fold into the mixture with a spatula until the mixtures are evenly combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 30 minutes.
The top of the cake should feel dry and it should start to crack. A toothpick that is inserted should come out sticky but not wet. If the cake is too wet, let it bake for another 5 minutes and check it again.
Cool the cake in the cake tin. The cake will fall in on itself as it cools – don’t be alarmed!
Remove the ring from the baking tin once the cake has reached room temperature (about an hour).
Dust generously with icing sugar and serve.

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