There are chocolate cakes and they are great chocolate cakes. Then there are flourless chocolate cakes. Total different ball game. Ground nuts stand in for the flour and while lending support & substance they also keep the cake moist. Butter, of course, lends extra flavour and richness where egg whites keep it airy, light and tells you to have your cake and eat it too. Let’s start with two slices each…
Claudia Roden whom I am referencing for this cake says you could even leave the butter. But…do I really want to do that … really?… it’s butter! Everything tastes better with butter. It’s a flavour enabler which I find essential in a chocolate cake and when chocolate is considered it can’t harm to amplify the chocolate if you ask me. Adding the simple ganache is not in the recipe but extolls the same virtues and needs little reasoning: more chocolate (and a steady chocolate intake is essential when your twins are crawling & exploring, have to keep it on a certain level to retain some sanity). I mean, look at the low sugar amount, it’s tiny for a cake and since we all know that sugar is the villain, this cake is practically diet food. The darker your chocolate the more diet this cake gets which brings me back to the two slices each. Make that three.
Serves 10-12, adapted from Claudia Roden’s Book of Jewish Food
250g (½ lb.) dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids, I use Valrhona)
100g (4oz) butter
6 eggs, separated
75g (⅓ cup) sugar
100g (1 cup) ground almonds
butter and flour for the pan
chocolate ganache (recipe below)
chopped almonds (optional)
Preheat oven 180°C (350°F). Butter and flour a 23 cm (9inch) cake pan.
Melt chocolate and butter (either in a bain-marie or if you are daring in a small saucepan over a very low flame). Whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and add ground almonds along with melted chocolate and butter. Beat egg whites till stiff, fold into batter and pour it into the cake pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Leave to cool.
The cake is very good on its own but… heavenly with more chocolate on top. Voilà a quick ganache to gilt the lily chocolate cake. Sprinkle with chopped almonds.
113g (4oz) dark chocolate
60ml (¼ cup) cream
½ teaspoon instant coffee granules
Melt chocolate, cream and coffee in a double boiler (bain-marie) or in a small saucepan over a minuscule flame until combined and shiny. Spread it onto the cake with a spatula, pushing some gingerly over the edges and smooth along the sides. Leave to cool and firm up.