Even if you’re not fond of coffee, the taste in this winning recipe only underlines the chocolate hit.

  • 12 ozs. semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 5 tbsps. liquid espresso or strong coffee
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Confectioner’s sugar, for garnish (optional)
  • Whole strawberries, for garnish (optional)

Position rack in centre of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a nine-inch springform pan. Dust pan with flour and tap out excess.

In top of double boiler over hot, not simmering water, melt together the chocolate and coffee, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat and cool until tepid.

In large bowl, using hand-held electric mixer set at medium-high speed, cream sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. One at a time, add egg yolks, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour.

In large, grease-free bowl, using clean beaters of hand-held mixer set at medium high speed, beat egg whites until they form stiff, shiny peaks. Fold one-fourth of egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten. Then fold in remaining whites. Fold in butter and flour mixture.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake 60 to 70 minutes or until top is crusty and cracked but middle is still slightly moist. Remove cake to wire rack to cool completely. Remove sides of springform pan and transfer cake to serving plate.

If desired, place a doily on top of cake and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Remove doily carefully to reveal pattern, or garnish with berries.

Makes eight to 10 servings.