Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chocolate Almond Cake

Andrew Whitely seems to understand that as much as Bread Matters, one cannot live on bread alone. When I came across his recipe for Luxury Chocolate Cake, I had to try it. And since it is the season of people making sweets for the sweet I thought it not inappropriate.
I made two six-inch cakes and stacked them with a layer of ganache in between. While this worked well and the layers sort of melded together in the night, I think next time I might try to make just one thick six inch cake instead. Since there is no flour or rising agent other than the eggs, this cake does not rise very much, so don't be surprised or disappointed when it doesn't.

Chocolate Almond Cake

Makes one large or two small cakes

  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g sugar
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 200 g dark chocolate
  • 60 g whipping cream
  • For the cake: Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks. Melt 100 g chocolate in a double boiler or your version thereof and add to butter mixture. Whip egg whites to soft peaks and gently fold into batter, trying not to knock the air out of them. Butter and flour cake pans and line the bottom with parchment. (I had to make this cake twice because the first time it stuck to the bottom of the pan.) Bake at not quite 350°F (170°C) for 30-40 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
  • For the ganache: Melt 100 g chocolate. Scald the cream (bring it to boiling point and remove immediately from heat) and add it directly to melted chocolate. Beat chocolate and cream with a wire whisk until shiny. Spread over cooled cake(s) with a palette knife.
My ganache, as you can see, never became shiny. I must have done something wrong along the way. It still tastes delicious, though, and doesn't look half bad. Which is to say, I am learning, ever so slowly, that things don't have to be perfect to be perfectly good.

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