Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chocolate Almond Torte

The past two weeks have been a bit hectic. But as much as I'd like to blame the holiday season for my procrastination, I really have been holding back because this recipe is too good to share. I have never felt like not sharing a recipe until now. However, seeing how it is Christmas time, I feel I ought to break out of my miserly Scrooge mood and pay up.

Folks, there is a reason that this cake is also known as the Queen of Sheba. It is elegant, divine and wholly regal.

The best word to describe this cake is transcendental.

But don't take my word for it. Just try it.

Chocolate Almond Torte
adapted from a recipe from The Times

This is one of the easiest elegant desserts you could possibly make. It also makes one of the best breakfast items. But however - and whenever - you serve it, do NOT sully it's beauty with vanilla ice cream. The sugar and vanilla will overpower the subtle notes of the chocolate and almonds. A slightly sweetened creme fraiche goes quite nicely if you must have an accompaniment.

- 200g dark chocolate
- 1 tbsp strong espresso coffee
- 1 tbsp rum or brandy
- 150g caster sugar
- 150g unsalted butter
- 100g ground almonds
- 5 large eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch spring form pan.

Melt the chocolate, coffee, rum or brandy, sugar and butter in a double boiler (or in a bowl sitting over a pot of simmering water.) Remove from the heat and stir until combined.

Add the ground almonds and mix well. Beat in the egg yolks, one by one.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until slightly stiff peaks form. Stir a couple of spoonfuls  of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in the rest.

Pour batter into pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack before removing from the pan. Dust with confectioners sugar before serving.

Optional: serve with sweetened cream or creme fraiche.

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