This is an indulgent treat that will last for up to three days, but in my home it barely lasts a day! When the cake is baked it will have a lovely cracked appearance, but it still tastes delicious.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease a 20cm baking tin and line with non-stick baking paper.
2. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.
3. Whisk the egg whites in a spotlessly clean, dry bowl. Gradually add half the sugar, one teaspoon at a time, until it’s fully incorporated.
4. Beat the remaining sugar and the egg yolks together in a separate bowl until pale and frothy. They should double in size.
5. Carefully fold half of the meringue mixture into the egg yolks. Gradually add the melted chocolate, then the remaining meringue mixture. Fold in the ground almonds, orange zest and juice and the Cointreau, if using, ensuring everything is well combined.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the cake to continue cooking in the oven for a further 10 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack, then serve with a light dusting of icing sugar.
*Always check Coeliac Society Foodlist for gluten-free brands.