To celebrate the one year anniversary of Corner Café being officially opened, here is a classic French chocolate and almond cake, also known in English as the ‘Queen of Sheba Cake’, to mark the occasion.
This flourless chocolate cake is quite fragile because of its gooey, fudgy centre. It is also not the best looking cake due to its sunken centre after cooling, but the taste is sublime, and it is an easy cake to make.
Makes one 18cm or 20cm cake
100g dark chocolate, preferably with 70% cocoa solids, broken
100g butter, cubed
40ml (2 tablespoons) coffee, or almond liqueur, such as Kahlúa, or Amaretto *
85g almond meal (ground almond)
3 eggs, separated
110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
cocoa powder and toasted flaked almond, for topping
* For non-alcoholic version, replace liqueur with strong espresso coffee.
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line and grease an 18cm (or 20cm) round springform tin.
2. Combine chocolate and butter in a heatproof mixing bowl placed over simmering water (double-boiler or bain-marie). Stir when melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
3. While the chocolate is melting, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in half the sugar, spoonful by spoonful, until stiff.
4. Add the remaining sugar and liqueur to the warm chocolate and butter mixture. Beat well to combine. Then beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Add almond meal and stir in well.
5. Gently fold in about 1/3 of the egg white mixture to lighten the chocolate mixture. The fold in the remaining egg white mixture, in two more batches.
6. Pour into prepared tin and bake for about 30 minutes. The cake will test gooey in the centre.
7. Cool cake in tin for at least 1 hour before turning out and serving. Cover and refrigerate overnight if made one day ahead.
8. Dust with cocoa powder and top with flaked almond before serving. Serve with a good dollop of whipped cream, or crème fraîche.
Taste: Moist fudgy chocolate cake
Consume: Best within 2-3 days
Storage: Store in airtight container in the refrigerator if kept for more than 1 day
Recipe References: ‘Chocolate and Almond Cake’ recipe by English cookery writer Elizabeth David
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