How to make it

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 10 inch springform or regular cake tin and line the base with butter and parchment paper. If you are using a springform tin, wrap it tightly in extra-wide foil as the cake bakes in a water bath and you don't want any water to leak into the batter through the seals in the tin. Sit the prepared tin in a roasting pan.
  • Put the chocolate into a large stainless steel bowl. Sit a fine sieve over the top of the chocolate and set the bowl aside.
  • Pour 1/2 cup (110 g) of the sugar, the water and five spice powder into a small saucepan and stir to dissolve the sugar over high heat. Stop stirring and bring the mixture to the boil. as soon as it boils, remove it from the heat and immediately strain it through the sieve into the chocolate. Whisk the mixture constantly with a balloon whisk until the chocolate has pretty much melted. Add the butter and vanilla extract and whisk until mixture is smooth, then set it aside; you need to work quite quickly during this stage as five spice syrup needs to be boiling hot to melt the chocolate and incorporate the butter easily. If at any time the mixture becomes a bit too thick and the chocolate or butter haven't melted completely, gently - and very carefully - warm the bowl over low heat or sit it in a bigger bowl of hot water, stirring all the while, to melt the last little pieces.
  • With an electric mixer, beat the eggs and remaining 3/4 cup (165 g) sugar together on medium speed until they're light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes maximum. Stir about a quarter of this egg mixture into the chocolate mixture to lighten it a bit, then fold in the remainder thoroughly.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and shake it gently to level it. Pour very hot water (just off the boil) into the roasting pan to come about half-way up the sides of the cake tin. Carefully transfer the whole lot to the oven and bake the cake for 45-50 minutes until the top feels wobbly / firm ( see note below) and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with moist but not wet chocolate mixture clinging to it.
  • Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Carefully life the cake tin out of the water bath and sit it on a wire rack to cook (if you've wrapped the tin in foil, peel it away as some water or condensation may have seeped in).
  • Once the cake is completely cool, gently loosen it around the sides with a palette knife and carefully invert it onto a serving plate. Remove the baking paper; if the cake seems to be sticking to the bottom of the tin, which it can do, especially in cool weather, then warm the base of the tin very gently and carefully over low heat to help loosen it. You can serve the cake upside-down (which I did) or invert it again onto another plate. Chill it, then cover it loosely with plastic film.
  • When you're ready to serve, cut the cake with a hot, dry knife, dipping the blade into very hot water and wiping it dry between each cut. This cake keeps well in the fridge for up to 10 days and freeze well for up to a month.

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  • 22566 6 years ago
    ~ Excellent ~
    Kind Regards
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  • gkwillow 6 years ago
    Your recipes are always so beautifully presented and photographed! :)
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