31 July 2010
17: Chocolate Almond Cake
Good Morning!! Its that time of the week when I warm up my oven and find something amazing to bake... I decide on a chocolate almond cake today...just thinking of chocolate and almond flavor together got my taste buds excited! Looking around for recipes I came across Julia Child's recipe for this cake...which was just perfect.. who better to learn from than from the maestro...
Lets start with the ingredients:
For the cake,
4 ounces or 4 squares semisweet chocolate
2 Tbsp. coffee
1/4 pound or 1 stick softened unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
Pinch of salt
7 ounces Odense almond paste
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
For the chocolate-butter icing,
2 ounces (2 squares) semisweet baking chocolate
2 Tbsp. coffee
5 to 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat water in a large pan and then set the chocolate and coffee in a small pan, cover, and place (off heat) in the larger pan of almost simmering water. Let the mix melt. Whisk the butter and 2/3 cup of sugar together for several minutes until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture. Beat in the three egg yolks until well blended.
Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl, sprinkle 1 Tbsp. sugar and beat well for 2-3 minutes.
Blend the molten chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in the almond paste, and almond extract. Immediately stir in one fourth of the beaten egg whites to lighten the batter. Delicately fold in a third of the remaining whites and when partially blended, sift on one third of the flour and continue folding. Alternate rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are completely mixed. It takes a little effort but make sure the batter is well beaten and is really smooth.
Turn the batter into the cake pan. Bake in middle level of preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes. Cake is done when it has puffed, and 2 1/2 to 3 inches around the circumference are set so that a fork plunged into that area comes out clean; the center should move slightly if the pan is shaken, and a fork comes out oily. I freaked out a little when I stuck the fork in the center and it came out with cake stuck over it..but that is the point, the cake is meant to be gooey in the middle and well done in the sides.
Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and reverse cake on the rack. Allow it to cool for an hour or two; it must be thoroughly cold if it is to be iced.
For the icing, place the chocolate and coffee in the small pan, cover and set in the larger pan of almost simmering water. Remove pans from heat and let chocolate melt for 5 minutes or so, until perfectly smooth. Lift chocolate pan out of the hot water, and beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time. Then beat over the ice and water until chocolate mixture has cooled to spreading consistency. At once spread it over your cake with spatula or knife.
I must say this baking session was a lesson in patience and discipline...discipline as I 'HAD' to follow the recipe to the T (and I am terrible at following recipes, love to improvise), patience because I had to sit and wait for the cake to cool down while all I wanted to do was dig into it and get a taste of it. But lessons learned and boy! the taste of hard work was sure sweet...:)
Okie doke...me now off to reading my Catalogs which have arrived!!
Have a wonderful weekend!!