flourless chocolate and almond cake
Gluten free it may be, but flourless unfortunately does not mean its healthier! Instead, the flour is replaced with almond meal, resulting in a cake that is rich, moist and exceptionally easy to make. It also keeps for a spookily long time. I think it tastes better after a couple of days but realistically, it will probably be happily digested by then.
It’s pretty much three steps – melt all the sweet ingredients, whip egg whites and mix everything together. Bake for forty to fifty minutes, depending on how fudgey you want the cake to be. The cake rapidly rises in the oven but once cooled, exhales dramatically and collapses. Already decadent on its own, it would be sublime with a dollop of creme fraiche or double cream, or if you are feeling absolutely decadent – a crown of chocolate mousse! One day I will make that!
The recipe is by Jill Dupleix (who adapted it from an Elizabeth David recipe) and can be found on the Times Online website, but here it is anyway. I was surprised how easy the recipe was – this is definitely a keeper.
Flourless Chocolate and Almond Cake
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids preferred)
1 tbsp strong espresso coffee
1 tbsp rum or brandy
150g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
5 eggs, separated
1 tbsp of icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven at 180°C. Butter and flour a 20cm round cake tin really, really well. This cake likes to stick!
Melt the chocolate, coffee, rum or brandy, sugar and butter in a glass bowl sitting over a pot of barely simmering water (ensure the bowl does not touch the water). The chocolate should melt in 5 – 7 minutes. When all ingredients are liquid, remove from the heat and stir to combine. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
Add the ground almonds to the liquid chocolate mix and mix well. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time (I added all five egg yolks at once and the cake seemed okay).
In an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff and peaky. Add a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and combine to loosen the mix. Doing this makes adding the rest of the egg whites much easier. Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites, until just combined, with no specks of egg white visible.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Less if you like it fudgey, more if you like it cakey.
Leave to cool. The cake will collapse and crack. Gently remove from the tin. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
Really good just by itself (and by yourself too) and fabulous with double cream or creme fraiche or chocolate mouse or ice cream or yogurt ….
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