Easter Egg Nest Cake for the Nigella Cookalong
Easter is not far away now, which means it’s fair game to start sprinkling mini eggs over things. It’s also fair game for me to put a little reminder to you that eater isn’t all about bunnies and eggs. Consider for a moment, the egg:
Easter is a time for celebration, so whilst it’s not all about chocolate and cake there’s a good reason to make one.
I’ve just become aware of the Nigella cookalong (inspired by Forever Nigella?). Each month the Nigella web team set a recipe and everyone makes it. This recipe is so easy and happens to be gluten free. Do listen though when Nigella tells you not to panic – it will sink horrifically after baking. That’s when you fill it with chocolate cream.
For the cake
250 grams dark chocolate (chopped)
125 grams unsalted butter (softened)
6 medium eggs (2 whole, 4 separated)
175 grams caster sugar (75g for yolk mixture, 100g for whites)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the topping
125 grams dark chocolate (chopped)
250 ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 packet mini chocolate egg (for decorating)
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C.
Line the bottom of a 23cm springform cake tin with baking parchment, or better still, Bake-O-Glide but do not grease the sides of the tine.
Melt the 250g chocolate with the butter in either a double boiler or a microwave and then set aside to cool slightly.
Whisk the 4 egg whites until firm, then gradually add the 100g of sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape and peak gleamingly – but not stiff.
Remove this bowl (if you’re using a freestanding mixer, as I do, though a handheld job would do fine) and set aside while you whisk, in another bowl, the 2 whole eggs and 4 yolks with the 75g of sugar and the vanilla extract, and then gently fold in the chocolate mixture. Lighten the mixture with some egg whites – just dollop a large spoonful in and stir briskly – and then fold in the rest of the whisked whites gently, in about three goes.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the centre is no longer wobbly on the surface. Cool the cake in its tin on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools and the sides splinter. You want this to look like a cake with a crater in it, so do not panic at the vision of imperfection in front of you. That’s one of the reasons this cake is so unstressful to make.
To finish the cake, carefully remove it from the tin and place it on a plate or cake-stand, not worrying if bits fall off here and there. Put them back in a loose fashion.
Melt the chocolate for the topping and leave it to cool a little. Whip the cream until it is firming up and aerated but still soft, and then add the vanilla and fold in the melted chocolate. Fill the crater of the cake with the chocolatey cream, easing it out gently towards the edges of the cake with a rubber spatula, and then arrange the little sugar Easter eggs on top.