1 kg brinjal, halved lengthways
4 finely chopped mint leaves
200g unsalted butter
225g dark chocolate
100g cocoa powder
140g ground almonds
10g chilled and diced butter
10g cocoa powder
100g icing sugar
100g ground almonds
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
To prepare the smoked brinjal for the chocolate cake, arrange the halves on a baking tray and cook for 30-45 minutes or until the skin is charred and the flesh is very soft.
Remove cooked brinjal from the oven and place in a bowl, covering tightly with cling film. Once cool, use a spoon to scoop out the flesh from the skins into a sieve.
Discard the skins and leave the flesh to drain over a bowl or sink for 2-3 hours to remove any excess liquid.
Once the excess liquid has drained, transfer it from the sieve into a bowl or tray and chop finely. Stir with the chopped mint leaves and set aside.
Preheat oven to 160°C.
Place the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Allow to melt gently, stirring the butter and chocolate. Remove the bowl from the pan and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl for 10 minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Gently fold the melted chocolate mixture into the eggs, followed by the cocoa and ground almonds.
Mix a little of the chocolate mixture with the brinjal and mint to loosen the texture slightly, then fold this through the rest of the chocolate mixture until fully combined.
Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 60-90 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean — the cake should be cooked through but still be slightly moist. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the chocolate crumble
Preheat the oven to 175˚C and line a tray with baking paper.
Grind dry ingredients for chocolate crumble in a mixer.
Add the butter and grind again until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Pour evenly across the lined tray and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until crunchy, storing in an airtight container.