It’s an epiphany to discover that dietary restrictions don’t have to mean a life of deprivation – but you don’t have to be on a gluten-free diet to fall for this cake. It’s just good-quality chocolate (ideally at least 70 percent cocoa solids) held together with eggs, sugar and almonds. It ends up with a bit of a crust on top – this isn’t a mistake, it’s part of the charm. You can make it ahead as it keeps for weeks. It also keeps in an airtight container for more than a week and also freezes well. It was supplied by Annabel Langbein, The Free Range Cook appearing on Foxtel’s LifeStyle FOOD.

Prep time 20 mins
Cook time 55 mins
Serves 8-10

Ingredients
250g best-quality dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp. brandy
2 tbsp. black coffee
200g butter, chopped
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1¾ cups ground almonds
6 eggs, separated
Chocolate shavings, cut with a vegetable peeler to garnish (optional)

Method
Preheat oven to 170°C and line the base and sides of a 23cm-diameter springform cake tin with baking paper
Combine chocolate, brandy and coffee in a large bowl over
a pot of boiling water, stirring as the chocolate melts
Add butter, sugar and vanilla and stir until butter has melted
Remove from heat and stir in ground almonds. Lightly beat egg yolks and stir into the chocolate mixture
Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl and beat to firm peaks
Stir a big spoonful of beaten egg white into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then fold in the rest of the egg whites
Spoon into prepared tin and bake until risen and set (about 55 minutes)
The cake will still be a little gooey in the centre. It may look a little cracked as it develops a crust and can be quite fragile, but this is normal.
Cool completely in the tin, then transfer to a serving plate
Garnish with the chocolate shavings.