Chocolate cake with brownie-like crust

This is a soft, rich, moist, dark chocolate cake, with a crisp, brownie-like crust. When cutting the cake it will crumble a bit as you cut through the bottom - don't try to cut thin slices.

Serve it with icy cold whipped cream, flavored with a little confectioners' sugar and vanilla, and, if available, a few fresh raspberries with each portion.

The recipe is from Maida Heatter's New Book of Great Desserts (Knopf, $17.50 ). Chocolate Mousse Cake 8 ounces semisweet chocolate 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter 2 tablespoons salad oil 8 large eggs, separated 1 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 teaspoon salt

Adjust rack 1/3 up from bottom of oven and preheat to 300 degrees F. Butter 10-inch Bundt pan, then sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Break up or coarsely chop chocolate and place in top of large double boiler over hot water on moderate heat.

Cut up butter and add it and oil to chocolate. Cover and let cook until almost completely melted. Then stir, or whisk until completely melted and smooth. Remove from hot water.

In mixing bowl, stir yolks with wire whisk just to mix. Gradually add 1/2 of hot chocolate mixture into yolks, then add yolks to remaining chocolate mixture and mix together. Add sugar and vanilla and stir to mix.

In large bowl of electric mixer add salt to egg whites and beat until they hold soft points, but are not stiff or dry.

Fold a few large spoonfuls of whites into chocolate mixture, then add remaining whites and fold together gently only until incorporated. Gently turn into prepared pan.

Bake for 21/4 hours. Remove from oven and let stand in pan for about 5 minutes. Cover with cake platter and invert to unmold. Let cool. Serves 10.

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