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The perfect Christmas gift for you or a loved one
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease a 22cm springform cake tin with soft butter and line the bottom with baking parchment. Shake a little flour around the buttered edges.
Melt the chocolate and butter together over a pan of simmering water, or in a microwave. Once melted, whisk together until smooth and add the espresso powder and chillies and chilli powder, if using. Whisk the egg yolks with the brown sugar and caster sugar, either in an electric mixer or with an electric hand whisk, for 5-10 mins until thick and pale. In a separate bowl, using a clean whisk, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft rounded peaks form.
Pour the chocolate mixture onto the beaten yolks and sugar, and gently mix until smooth. Add the almonds and flour and mix again. Spoon the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and gently fold together. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 mins until the cake is set but with a slight jiggle in the centre. (If the cake is starting to brown too quickly, cover with a piece of baking parchment.)
Leave to cool in the tin – it will sink a little as it cools. Run a knife around the inside of the cake tin to loosen. Remove the baking parchment and place on a cake stand. Whisk the cream and espresso powder until soft peaks form. Serve on the side or spoon on top of the cake dusted with a little cocoa powder.