A seriously adult chocolate dessert!

Chocolate_Marquise_with_Cognac_Raisins.jpg

This is nothing short of to die for – one of those ‘death by chocolate’ moments which will leave a smile on the face of your guests and family for weeks to come. It might appear complicated but it really is quite simple but you do need to begin preparation the day before because the sponge and centre need to refrigerate overnight. The Cognac raisins are sensational and you should make them just to have with vanilla or chocolate ice-cream!!

Chocolate Marquise with Cognac Raisins

250g dark chocolate (53% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped

5 eggs, separated

100g white sugar

175g unsalted butter, melted

Chocolate sponge

3 eggs

140g caster sugar

75g plain flour

1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa

30g butter, melted

Cognac raisins

50g white sugar

100g raisins

50ml Cognac

For chocolate sponge, preheat the oven to 200C. Whisk eggs and caster sugar in an electric mixer until pale and tripled in volume (8-10 minutes). Sift over the flour and cocoa and gently fold until combined, then fold in melted butter. Pour into a 30cm x 42cm oven tray lined with baking paper, smooth top and bake until cake springs back when lightly pressed (4-5 minutes). Turn onto a wire rack to cool.
 
Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and set aside. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and frothy (4-5 minutes). Stir in melted chocolate and butter until combined. Whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt until firm peaks form, then fold in chocolate mixture and set aside.
 
Cut chocolate sponge to fit the base and sides of an 8cm x 22cm straight-sided loaf pan, line pan with sponge and fill with chocolate mixture. Trim remaining sponge to fit top, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, but overnight is best.
 
For cognac raisins, combine sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over high heat, stir until sugar dissolves, simmer for 2 minutes, add raisins and Cognac and remove from heat. Set aside to cool. Raisins will keep refrigerated for up to 2 months and the flavour will improve with age.
 
Remove cake from mould and slice with a warm knife, Serve with Cognac raisins.
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