125g Port (Tawny or Ruby),
85g bittersweet chocolate (don’t compromise on the chocolate – it will affect the taste) chopped into small pieces,
4 large (240g) eggs,
195g granulated sugar,
100g plain flour.
In the small saucepan, melt – but do not boil – the port and butter over a low heat. Once the butter has melted, remove from the heat and add the chocolate pieces. Leave them to melt in the butter/port mixture. Separate the whites from the yolks of the eggs into the two bowls (taking care not to let any of the yolk into the white). Whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks. In the other bowl, add the sugar to the egg yolks and whisk until thoroughly combined (the mixture should turn a lighter yellow). Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk/sugar mixture and whisk to thoroughly combine. Using a flat wooden spoon (or flat spatula) fold in the flour – be careful not to over-stir. Fold in the egg whites – one third at a time – to the chocolate mixture (don’t worry about getting the whites perfectly incorporated, although the batter should be relatively well mixed). Grease the cake pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper (to make it easier to remove when cooked). Transfer the mixture to the cake pan and bake in a pre-heated oven (350°F/175°C) until you can put a toothpick (or knife) into the loaf and it comes out clean, approximately 30 minutes. Leave the cake to cool for about 10-15 minutes (this should allow the edges to pull away from the sides). Remove the cake from the pan. Dust with icing sugar or cocoa powder. Serve warm with cream/crème fraîche/ice cream or let it cool and have it with a relaxing cup of cafe-con-leche.
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All photos © Sue Sharpe 2013