Grated Chocolate and Almond Cake
I feel somewhat constrained when trying endlessly to explain the merits of cakes to people who have not tried them, but there is only one word for this one. Magnificent. It's very special - the almonds give it a very moist texture and the little flecks of chocolate give a different sort of chocolate experience.
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This recipe is from Delia's Cakes
Place the butter, sugar, egg yolks, milk, flour and ground almonds in a large mixing bowl, then whisk for about 1-2 minutes until smooth. Now fold in the grated chocolate.
Next, in a separate dry, clean bowl whisk the egg whites till they reach the soft peak stage, and then fold half of them into the rest of the mixture gently and carefully so as not to lose all the air you have whisked in. Repeat with the other half.
Next spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, level it off with the back of a tablespoon, place it near the centre of the oven, reduce the heat to 170°C, gas mark 3 and bake for 1 hour or until the centre is springy when lightly touched.
Allow the cake to stand in the tin for 5 minutes before sliding a palette knife around the edge. Now ease it out of the tin by placing it on an upturned bowl, then using the palette knife slide it off the base onto a wire rack to cool.
Now put the broken-up chocolate in a bowl over a pan containing 5cm of barely simmering water, without the bowl touching the water. When it's melted (5-10 minutes) take it off the heat and stir in the crème fraiche.
Allow it to cool and thicken slightly, then split the cake in half. I have found the best way to do this is to sit down with the cake on a board and hold it steady with one hand and then with a serrated knife use a gentle sawing movement to slice horizontally through the cake.
Use half the chocolate to sandwich together, and the other half to spread over the top, making patterns with a knife.
Store in an airtight tine till needed.
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This is quite simply my own favourite chocolate dessert of all time. It’s dark, very moist, and the prunes soaked in Armagnac make it a very grown-up chocolate experience. I used to call it Sunken Chocolate Cake but sometimes it doesn’t sink!
In the late ’70s this cake went down a storm, and still people tell me they always have it on their birthday! Because it is not made with flour it’s incredibly light and soufflé-like.
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