Chocolate and Almond Cake
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Little nuggets of almonds pack out this dense cake full of wicked chocolate indulgence.
Preparation: 25 - 30 mins
Cooking: 35 - 40 mins
200g whole skinned almonds
200 g dark chocolate, minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids, broken into squares
200g salted butter, plus extra for greasing cake tin
4 eggs, separated
200g caster (superfine) sugar
icing sugar, for dusting
Grease a 22 cm loose-bottomed round tin with butter.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Scatter the almonds on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Finely chop the nuts using a large knife or whizz in a food processor until they are the consistency of demerara sugar.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water or in a microwave, taking care not to burn the chocolate. Leave to cool a little.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy.
In another bowl, whisk egg whites until they form soft peaks.
Mix the melted chocolate, butter and egg yolks thoroughly.
Mix in the chopped almonds.
Fold in the egg whites using a whisk, spoon or spatula until well combined, then pour into tin.
Bake for 35–40 minutes. The cake is cooked when it forms a crust on the outside – a skewer inserted into the cake won’t come out clean because the centre remains moist.
To decorate, place a doily on top and sift over a fine layer of icing sugar, then carefully remove doily.
Serve at room temperature.
Adapted from The Amalfi Coast by Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi, Hardie Grant, £25