This seductive (like Julia Stone’s voice) chocolate cake recipe is from Stephanie Alexander’s – The Cook’s Companion. It’s an easy cake to make and is not too sweet. It’s a winner for impressive and easy entertaining, particularly if you have guests who are gluten intolerant.
To take it to the next level, dust icing sugar over the top and serve with natural yoghurt, whipped cream or ice-cream. Fresh berries are nice on the side too.
This cake is another cake that can be portioned, glad wrapped and frozen to take for morning tea during the working week.
chocolate and almond cake
125g bittersweet chocolate. Chopped
1 tbs brandy (sometimes I add 2). Could also substitute with whiskey.
1 tbs black coffee
100g softened salted butter. Chopped.
½ cup castor sugar
¾ cup ground almonds
3 eggs. Separated.
natural yoghurt or
whipped cream or
and/or fresh berries
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celcius.
Butter and flour (or line with baking paper if GF) an 18 cm (I used a 22 cm – it just makes a thinner cake – set your buzzer for 35 minutes if using larger). This cake does have the potential to leak out of a spring-form tin, so lining with baking paper ensures a leak-free cake.
First ground your almonds, separate your eggs (yolks in a shallow bowl, whites in a med-large bowl) and organise your tbs of coffee (I used an espresso machine to make a shot and drank the leftover – a bonus)
Lightly whisk the egg yolks and set aside. Don’t touch the whites yet.
Combine chocolate, coffee and brandy in a bowl over water on a low-med heat or in a double boiler. Maintain a consistent temperature, don’t let the chocolate get too hot or it will split. Remove from the heat if it is starting to stick together rather than melting. Add the butter if this starts to occur, as this will help the chocolate maintain the smoothness you want. If you take the chocolate mixture off the heat, you can put back on every so often until everything is melted.
Take off the heat and stir in the ground almonds. Mix well.
Add the egg yolks. Mix well.
With a clean whisk, beat your egg whites until firm.
Take a spoonful of the egg whites and fold through your chocolate mixture to lighten the mixture. This will prevent the mixture from flattening too much air when you fold the egg whites through next.
Add the remaining egg whites and carefully fold through the chocolate mixture with a spatula. This is like a scooping and flipping over action. Stop once all the egg white is combined through the chocolate mixture.
Spoon the mixture into a prepared tin (if your tin is larger than 18 cm set a buzzer for 35 minutes. The cake will cook for about 40-45 minutes. It will still be a little gooey in the centre when ready. But it will have developed a crust on top and be quite fragile. Cool completely in the tin before carefully inverting onto a serving plate.
Dust with icing sugar and serve with whatever you fancy – natural yoghurt, whipped cream, ice-cream, fresh berries.