- STEP 1
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Put the chocolate in a small saucepan with the milk and heat gently until the chocolate has melted. Stir in the brandy if using.
- STEP 2
Beat together the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg yolks, flour, cocoa powder and chocolate mixture.
- STEP 3
Whisk the egg whites in a separate, grease-free bowl until they hold their shape. Using a large metal spoon, fold a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining egg whites.
- STEP 4
Turn the mixture into a 1.5 litre pie dish or into 5 or 6 ramekins around 8cm x 8cm in size and place in a roasting tin. Pour boiling water to a depth of 2.5cm into the tin. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes in a pie dish or about 20 minutes in ramekins, until a crust has formed on top.
- STEP 5
Dust generously with cocoa powder and serve hot with whipped cream.