Another one of Nigel Slater's recipes. What a man. He tweets me back on Twitter just to thank me whenever I say something nice to him. That's a good man right there.
You know, I wish it was more socially acceptable to just give food to random people. That's what I do and people who don't know me very well think I'm strange. For me it's just a friendly gesture, and I want people to like my food. It's not that I'm dying to be their friends, no, please. Some people really flatter themselves, I honestly couldn't care less. I rarely make an effort to really be someone's friend. Maybe it's because I haven't met anyone I find that useful to me yet lol. Hah there was this one guy who thought I liked him because I gave him cookies. Although, admittedly, I might do that with some men. Yes, I'm a very confusing woman and give mixed signals all the time because I'm incredibly awkward when it comes to men, I'm sure I've mentioned this.
But bake this for..whatever you want. Bake them for yourself on a nice afternoon, or for a friend on a special occasion. Carry them with you and give it to people to brighten up their days. Nothing makes people happier than being given cake for no reason. Sensible people, at least.
Recipe from Nigel Slater
175g dark chocolate, at least 70 per cent cocoa solids
150g caster sugar
6 large eggs
140g plain flour
150g apricot jam - sieved
250g dark chocolate
Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4. Line the base of a 22cm round cake tin with lightly buttered greaseproof or baking paper. Break the chocolate into a heat-proof bowl and melt it over a pan of boiling water.
Cream the butter and two-thirds of the sugar together till very light and fluffy - something like 8-10 minutes in the food mixer at a moderate speed.
Separate the eggs, then, when (and only when) the sugar and butter are white and fluffy, beat the egg yolks one at a time. Gently stir in the melted chocolate. Add the flour, through a sieve if you wish, stirring carefully but firmly until it is all combined.
Whisk the egg whites till firm, then stir in the remaining 50g of sugar a spoonful at a time. I usually take the whites till they will just about keep their shape, but stop before they are capable of sitting in stiff peaks. Fold them carefully, lightly, into the chocolate mixture. The easiest way to do this is to add a little of the chocolate mixture to the eggs first, then slowly incorporate the rest. It is a job for a gentle hand, and you need to take your time and do it thoroughly.
Scrape the cake mixture into the lined cake tin and bake for about 50 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a metal skewer into the centre: it should come out moist but without any uncooked cake mixture on it. Run a palette knife around the edge of the cake and turn it upside down on to a cooling rack. Leave to cool.
Melt the apricot jam in a small saucepan. If it has large lumps of fruit then it is traditional to sieve it, so that you can get a thin enough layer on top. Pour over the cake, smoothing over the top and sides.
To make the chocolate frosting, break the chocolate into squares in a heat-proof glass bowl and let it warm over a small saucepan containing simmering water. Don't stir the chocolate, but turn off the heat after a couple of minutes. Stir in the butter in small pieces. Pour the chocolate frosting over the apricot glaze and leave to set.