This is not a fancy cake. It’s not tricky to make, nor does it come laden with some kind of extravagant buttercream icing (though I do serve mine with a good dollop of rosemary whipped cream on the side). Rather, it’s simple and sophisticated—rich, dark, and, most importantly of all, irresistible to any guest at my table. It is the kind of cake that you can prepare ahead of time and, better still, it’s the kind of cake that improves with age. Rather like a good bottle of wine, its flavors develop and the crumb becomes denser and richer and all the more irresistible with the passing of time. —Skye | From My Dining Table
Grease and line an 8-inch (20-centimeter) cake pan, and preheat the oven to 285° F (140° C).
Roughly chop the chocolate and the butter and throw them together in a heavy-based pan; then, set it over a very low heat to melt, stirring occasionally to prevent the chocolate from burning. When the chocolate and butter have melted completely, take the pan off the heat and leave to cool a little.
Separate the eggs. Pour the whites into a clean bowl, add half the sugar, and beat vigorously, until soft peaks begin to form. Pour the yolks and the rest of the sugar into a second bowl and beat until the mixture is smooth and pale.
Gently fold the yolks into the whites, then slowly fold in the melted chocolate.
Pour the batter into the pan and set the cake in the middle of the oven.
Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, until the top of the cake feels firm to touch if you press on it gently. Leave the cake to cool in its baking pan. Do not try to take the cake out of its pan before it has completely cooled or it will collapse.
When the cake reaches room temperature, store it in the fridge. Just before serving, turn the cake out of its pan and dust lightly with confectioners' sugar.
This cake will keep for 3 to 4 days in the fridge—if anything, the flavors actually improve if you can leave it to rest for a day or two.
For the whipped cream:
Add the cream and the rosemary sprigs to a small saucepan and set over medium heat.
The moment the cream begins to simmer, take the pan off the heat and pour the contents into a small bowl. Leave to steep for half an hour, then strain the cream and chill in the fridge.
Before serving, add the sugar and the cream to a bowl of a stand mixer fit with a whisk attachment and whip until stiff peaks begin to form. Serve slices of cake with dollops of whipped cream.