A friend recently made this deliciously rich chocolate cake when we went over for dinner and a few rounds of Mexican Trains*. Come dessert time, I decided as soon as I bit into this chocolatey deliciousness that it had to be my next bake for the blog. Even though I’ve got a good, flop-free chocolate sponge cake which I often make, the addition of almonds and coffee along with the decadent chocolate frosting puts this one in another league!
YOU WILL NEED:
Equipment: Mixer, spatula, food processor or equivalent to blitz the almonds, 25cm cake tin
Ingredients for the cake:
- 225g dark chocolate
- Small hot espresso or 4 tsp good instant coffee in 3 tbsp boiling water (I went for the instant option)
- 200g butter
- 80g flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp good quality cocoa
- 5 eggs
- 225g castor sugar
- 125g whole almonds, blitzed in the food processor to make ground almonds
Ingredients for the frosting:
- 200g dark chocolate
- 3 tbsp butter
Chocolate Almond Cake
Preheat your oven to 180ºC, Gas Mark 4.
Prepare your cake tin by generously spraying with Spray & Cook and lining the bottom with baking paper.
For The Chocolate cake:
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (or place a glass bowl over small saucepan of water).
- Once it starts to melt, add the hot espresso.
- Cut the butter into blocks and add to the chocolate coffee mixture. RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO STIR!
- Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa together.
- Separate the eggs, dropping whites only into the bowl of a standing mixer.
- Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then quickly but gently fold in the sugar with a large metal spoon. *
- Remove the chocolate from the heat and stir to dissolve the last of the butter.
- Beat the egg yolks in a little bowl, and add to the chocolate butter mixture.
- Gently fold this mixture into the sweet egg whites. You are folding to keep the air in the cake.
- Finally, fold in the sifted flour and cocoa, followed by the ground almonds.
- Once the flour mixture and almonds are just combined, plop the mixture into your cake tin, scraping everything from the bowl with your spatula.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean, with no streaks of batter. A few moist crumbs are OK! **
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler and stir together to make smooth, melted chocolate. Pour over the completely cooled cake. ***
* Mexican Trains is a double twelve or double fifteen Domino game that I can absolutely recommend – it’s great fun for the whole family!
** The reason for using a metal spoon is that the edge cuts through the mixture, so it doesn’t deflate. If you fold ingredients in batches, using a cutting action and turning the mixture in on itself, rather than stirring, you avoid the risk of losing too much volume.
*** I found, when making this the first time in a smaller (23cm) tin, that my cake needed much longer to cook. A larger tin, which allows the heat to penetrate the batter more, will bake in a shorter time.
**** The chocolate frosting is almost pure melted chocolate, so it does set quite firm and tends to crack a bit when cut. If you’re OCD like me, and the cracking bothers you, I reckon a chocolate ganache will work really well with this recipe too. An easy ganache I’ve made before uses 200g chocolate & 85ml cream: heat the cream until it’s about to boil, then add the chocolate. Let it stand for 2 minutes, then stir until the chocolate has fully melted into the cream. Whisk until smooth and glossy. When you start to stir it, you think it won’t come together, but it will. Allow to cool to a pourable / spreadable consistency, then spread over your cooled cake!