Chocolate Almond Cake
Makes 2 9-inch cakes, each serving 10 to 12
unsalted butter or margarine for greasing pans
unbleached flour or passover potato starch for dusting pans
9 ounces imported semi-sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
1/2 pound unsalted butter
scant 1 1/4 cups sugar
6 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/4 cup strained, freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cognac
1 1/2 teaspoons unbleached flour or potato starch
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 ounces blanched almonds, finely ground
unsweetened cocoa powder or confectioners' sugar for dusting the cake
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Grease the bottoms and sides of
2 9-by-1 1/2-inch round pans. Line the pans with wax paper, and
grease the wax paper. Dust with flour or potato starch, then invert
the pans and tap to shake out excess.
Place the chocolate on the top of a double boiler, cover, and set
over simmering water until melted. Let cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter or margarine at
medium speed, adding the sugar gradually until the mixture is pale
and bubbles appear, approximately 10 minutes. While still beating,
add 1 egg yolk at a time, beating well after each addition. Lower
the speed and beat in the cooled chocolate and orange juice. With
a large rubber spatula, mix in the cocoa powder, cognac, flout or
potato starch, lemon rind, orange rind, vanilla extract, and almonds.
In a clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites at high speed, until
stiff. Fold half of the whites into the batter with a rubber spatula.
Repeat with another quarter of the whites, then reverse the process,
pouring the batter over the whites. Gradually fold the two batters
together, making a motion like a figure eight, until all the whites
Divide batter equally between the two pans, and smooth the tops.
Bake both cakes on the center rack of the oven, not touching, for
50 minutes. Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes on wire racks, then
invert the cakes onto the racks, peel off the wax paper, and cool
To serve: Sprinkle with cocoa powder or confectioners' sugar and
slide the cakes onto a serving platter.