Gingergirl: ‘Let’s celebrate spring!”

Helen Keown

Reporter:

Helen Keown

This chocolate and cardamom cake is perfect for Easter lunch or any spring get-together
Hello and welcome to all about food. This week is all about chocolate! For those of you planning to cook Easter lunch this year, I highly recommend trying this recipe. If you can’t wait that long, well perhaps it’s a good way to celebrate the brighter evenings, seeing your first snowdrop, having a good hair day, having a bad hair day… (basically any excuse you can think off!).

Hello and welcome to all about food. This week is all about chocolate! For those of you planning to cook Easter lunch this year, I highly recommend trying this recipe. If you can’t wait that long, well perhaps it’s a good way to celebrate the brighter evenings, seeing your first snowdrop, having a good hair day, having a bad hair day… (basically any excuse you can think off!).

Ask Gingergirl

Dear Gingergirl

My best friend is celebrating a significant birthday this weekend and to mark the occasion I’m hosting a dinner party for her. While I’m a competent cook (the starter and main course have been planned for weeks), I’m not too confident when it comes to desserts. I think it’s because I cook what I like to eat and I just really don’t have a sweet tooth. Have you any nice and sophisticated ideas for a smart dessert – ideally not to sweet so that I can really enjoy the fruits of my labour!

Thanks so much!

Rebecca, Dooradoyle

Hi Rebecca,

We seem to have similar tastes! Desserts don’t factor high on my list of cooking priorities, even as a child I preferred savoury snacks to sweet ones – although I suppose this isn’t a bad complaint! This recipe is definitely elegant, not too sweet, (as, like my chocolate brownies, it uses chocolate with 70% cocoa solids) and just different enough to make it stand out on your menu. I hope you like it!

Chocolate and cardamom cake

300g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

150g butter

6 eggs separated

40g golden castor sugar

1 ¼ tsp ground cardamom

Heat your oven to 180ºc. Butter an 18cm spring form cake tin and dust with cocoa powder – some recipes tell you to line with greaseproof but this works every time for me without it – just be sure to grease the tin well.

Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (you can use a microwave if you wish but be careful as the chocolate can scorch if set too high).

Beat the eggs yolks, half the sugar and the cardamom until thick and creamy. Add the melted but slightly cooled chocolate to this mixture – the chocolate must be cooled or the eggs will scramble and you’ll have to start all over again!

Whisk the egg whites and remaining sugar until stiff. Once stiff, carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until nicely combined – there may be a little marbling but this is fine and will only add to the cake once baked.

Once mixed, spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 18-20 minutes. Before serving, sieve a generous coating of cocoa powder over the top of the tart.

And finally…

I love to serve this tart with some thick, double cream. I think the sticky sweetness really compliments the very serious chocolatey flavours of the cake. Some raspberries on the side also look pretty and as we all know raspberries and chocolate are a perfect flavour combination.

Contact Gingergirl

www.gingergirl.ie

email: helen@gingergirl.ie

Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutney’s made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.

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