I decided to make a Reine de Saba sponge cake. It's a very moist, dense sponge that should be eaten in thin wedges and goes great with strawberries (also in season at the moment) and cream. Although it is very easy to make and if you are careful with cutting (unlike mine being off centre) it can look very posh!
Excuse the old fashioned (Imperial) weights and measures... this is the way the recipe goes...
Ingredients: 4 oz plain chocolate melted with 2 tbsp rum, 1/4lb softened butter, 1/4lb castor sugar, 3 egg yolks, 3 egg whites, pinch salt, 1tbsp castor sugar, 2oz ground almonds, 1/4tsp almond extract, 2oz plain flour sifted.
I made double the quantity, making two cakes, one for now and one for the freezer. Here in Spain it is hard to find castor sugar so I make my own by processing granulated sugar for just a few seconds in the food processor using the nut grinder attachment. Always melt your chocolate first and then let it cool as you can't add hot chocolate to the egg mixture!
Method: Butter and flour an 8inch cake tin. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 or 180C. Cream butter and sugar until pale.
Add egg yolks and beat well. Beat egg whites separately until soft peaks and then add the tablespoon of castor sugar and beat until stiff.
Blend the melted chocolate and rum into the egg yolk and butter mixture and add the almonds and almond extract. Blend.
Sift in a quarter of the flour and then add a quarter of the egg white. Mix it all well.
Blend in remaining flour and then fold the remaining egg white carefully into the mixture. Spoon into the prepared cake tins and smooth the top. Bake for 25 minutes or thereabouts checking towards the end of the cooking time. The centre of the cake should still be a bit squidgy when you take it out. Leave for ten minutes in the tin before removing to a wire rack to cool.
Dust with icing sugar sifted onto the top when cold and serve with a dollop of cream and some chocolate curls if you want to be really decadent!