6 egg whites
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
1 cup (125g) almond meal
500 g halva, roughly chopped
150 g pitted dates, chopped
Grated zest of 2 oranges
120 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup (60ml) brandy
100 ml pure (thin) cream
150 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
decorations to serve:
2 tablespoons edible dried rose petals (optional)
2 tablespoons slivered pistachios
4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
Small mint sprigs
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 24cm springform cake pan with baking paper. Beat egg whites with electric beaters until stiff peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating constantly, then beat for 5 minutes or until thick and glossy.
Fold in almond meal, halva, dates, zest and chocolate until just combined. Spoon mixture into the cake pan, then bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until dry and firm to the touch (the cake will still be moist in the centre when tested with a skewer).
While hot, poke several holes in the top of the cake with a skewer. Pour brandy over cake, then cool completely in the pan.
Meanwhile, for the glaze, place cream and chocolate in a pan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stand for 30 minutes or until a thick pouring consistency.
Remove the cooled cake from the pan, transfer to a platter and pour over the chocolate glaze, allowing it to drip down the sides. Decorate with rose petals, nuts, pomegranate seeds and mint.
Recipe: Valli Little