Line the bottom and side of cake tin with paper. Put together the ★ ingredients and sift. Divide the egg yolks and whites.
Cut the butter into small pieces and put in a bowl. Add the chocolate and put the bowl over a bain-marie (about 50°C). After melting stir well and keep it warm warm over the bain-marie.
Add 1/2 of sugar to the egg whites and whisk until stiff peaks form.
Add the rest of sugar to the egg yolks and whisk until pale and fluffy like mayonnaise.
*From here onwards, work through the steps quickly! Add the 4 egg yolks and the ★ dry ingredients to the meringue and mix with a balloon whisk. Do not over mix so you can still see some of the dry ingredients around.
Change to a spatula and add the Step 2 chocolate mixture and brandy. Fold in gently.
Pour the batter into the middle of the cake tin. Let the batter rest on the surface of the bowl along the edge of the tin. Flatten the surface and knock the tin against the countertop several times to let the excess air out.
Bake the cake on the middle or bottom shelf of the pre-heated oven. If you have a gas oven, go with 160°C for 30 minutes + 3 minutes. In an electric oven, bake it at 180°C for 15 minutes, then at 160°C for 35 minutes.
After baking, remove the cake by holding up the paper while hot and peel off the side paper. After leaving it to cool, cover the cake with the tin.
After cooling down completely peel off the bottom paper.
*It takes about 60 minutes including preparation and baking time (using a gas oven). You can bake them in individual small cups.
Story Behind this Recipe
This gateau chocolat is popular with people who don't like sweet things. I have used this recipe for ten years. You can eat a lot because this cake is very light.
By putting the butter in the bowl first before the chocolate you can melt the butter completely over a bain-marie. It's the easy way. I like van Houten cocoa powder because it gives cakes a rich dark colour.