My good friend Liz hosted a few mums and toddlers for a Melbourne Cup lunch last year. A glass of bubbly, chicken salad and scrumptious chocolate and almond mini cakes topped with cream and sweet strawberries – not a bad way to spend a Tuesday.
Marie made the mini chocolate and almond cakes for the lunch and shared the recipe with me. I have only made the large cake but they can be baked in muffin tins for individual desserts. The cake is flourless and despite the lack of height they are quite light. My favourite bit is the flecks of finely chopped chocolate throughout. No chocolate is melted, just finely chopped and mixed through. It means the cake isn’t dominated by chocolate but each bite is filled with little flecks of chocolate to nibble.
This cake doesn’t suffer if made the day before. Like any flourless cake they seem to keep better. Serve with whipped cream, fresh strawberries and a little dust of icing sugar. It is one incredibly good recipe!
chocolate and almond cake
(from the St John’s Wood and The Gap Parish Cookbook 2004)
200g quality dark chocolate
170g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g unsalted butter
4 eggs, separated
250g almond meal
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Grease and line a 24cm cake tin.
Melt the butter and allow to cool. Finely chop the chocolate so it is crumbly.
In a bowl whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla until pale and thick. Fold through the chocolate, melted butter and almond meal.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold half of the whisked egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold through the remaining egg whites. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 50 – 60 minutes.