125-150 g butter
300 ml sugar
150 ml flour (gluten-free goes as well)
6-7 generous tablespoonfuls of cocoa powder
Optionally for richer taste, add any or all of the following:
a few pieces of dark chocolate, grated
a handful of walnuts
a handful of dried cranberries (tranbär)
some amount of Riga Black Balsam or another alcohol of your liking
Optionally for glazing:
chocolate for glazing
a tablespoon of butter or milk or both
grated orange zest or a tablespoon of orange juice
a few drops of good brandy
1. Start your oven (180 C); if needed, place butter in the oven to get it soft.
2. Beat eggs. Yolks and whites go together, no worries. No need to overdo it, 3 minutes by hand is plenty.
3. Add sugar. The more the better. And beat some more.
4. Add cocoa powder and gently fold it in.
5. Add butter. By this time, I have normally forgotten that I put it in the oven and it's all melted, which makes it real easy to add.
6. Add any or, best, all of the optional ingredients for richer taste.
7. Add flour. Wheat is fine, all kinds of gluten-free have been tested and worked. My favourite for this recipe is 'bovete' flour (buckwheat in English, griķu in Latvian).
8. The outcome so far should be a dough that is not too liquid but is still somewhat 'flowing'. It should flow nicely and slowly into the baking form that you have prepared. Add flour or melted butter if it seems too liquid or too hard.
9. Bake it at 180C for about 40 minutes. In some ovens, it takes significantly less (20 min in the original recipe but it has never worked for me). The important thing is to finish baking before the cake dries out, but you don't want to stop too early either.
10. Let it rest and get cool before adding the glazing.
11. Melt chocolate and add some butter and/or milk. Continue beating it as it melts.
12. Add orange zest/orange juice and brandy.
13. Drizzle it on top of the cake.
14. Put the cake in the fridge for the glazing to set. Overnight works perfect, but 30 minutes should be fine as well.
15. Sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar.