Easter Cake

I gotta give a shout out to Niegella.. her repetoire of cakes is truley amazing and when I'm stuck for a recipe I know I can count on my "How to be Domestic Goddess" or "Feast" cookbook for something yummy. This cake was no exception. The recipe called for dark chocolate which I didn't have any of and being easter and all I 'borrowed' the kids lindt milk chocolate bunnies. Since I used a good quality chocolate it turned out great and I was happy with the lightness. The marshmellows go against everything I look for in a food but that hot pink and those little ears were irresistible. (plus I threw most of them away)

for the cake
250 g (or one cup) best quality dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter
6 eggs: 2 whole; 4 seperated
3/4 cup caster sugar (this is not icing sugar, it's sugar that has been wizzed in a blender but to be honest I just use reg. sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the topping
1/2 cup best quality dark chocolate, chopped
250 ml (1 cup) whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
decoration (Nigella used little chocolate easter eggs)

preheat 350. Line 23cm springform pan with baking parchment, do not grease sides.
Melt the 250 g chocolate with the butter in a double boiler or microwave (I use microwave but set heat to 4 and let it go for a minute at a time always stirring after each minute) set aside to let cool. Whisk 4 egg whites until firm, then gradually add 7 tablespoons of sugar and whisk until the whites are holding shape but not stiff. Set aside, and in another bowl whisk 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 5 tablespoons sugar, the vanilla extract, and then gently fold into chocolate mixture. Lighten the mixture with some of the egg whites (just a dollop) and stir briskly, then fold in the rest of the egg whites in 3 portions.

Pour into prepared tin and bake for 35- 40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and center is no longer wobbly. Cool cake in tin on wire rack- the middle will sink in, this is what gives the cake it's nest like appearance.

To finish the cake, carefully remove it from tin and place on cake pan or plate, if bits fall off just patch it back on. For topping, melt the chocolate and set aside to cool while you whip the cream. Whip it until it;s still soft, add the vanilla and then fold in the melted chocolate. Fill the crater of cake with the chocolatey cream using a spatula then arrange whatever decoration you choose!

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