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Almond Cake

7 ounces almond paste
1 1/4 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons orange or lemon zest
1 teaspoon almond extract
6 large eggs
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt

1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

1/3 cup cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a bundt pan. In a
large bowl, beat the almond paste until it becomes malleable (2
minutes). If a few large chunks of almond paste remain, proceed
(they will blend in as you add the butter and eggs). Slowly add
the sugar. Mix until combined. Add butter, lemon zest, and almond
extract. Beat until creamy (5 minutes). Individually add eggs,
beating after each addition. Beat the entire mixture until it is
well combined and has increased in volume. Fold in flour, baking
powder and salt. Spread the batter into pre-greased bundt pan and
bake for 35-40 minutes (or until a cake tester inserted in center
of cake comes out clean). Let the cake cool. Unmold the cake.

In a small microwaveable bowl, mix marmalade and Grand Marinier.
Heat on high until the mixture is a bit liquid and spreadable (45
seconds). Dip pastry brush into marmalade mixture and brush top
and sides of cooled cake (you don't want any orange rind to be
brushed on just liquid, but its no big deal if you do).

In a small saucepan warm cream and butter, until butter melts. Take
off of heat. Add chocolate chips. Whisk in until all of the chips
are melted and mixture becomes smooth and glosssy. Allow the mixture
to cool slightly. Pour mixture evenly over cake. Let the chocolate
glaze set and transfer cake to refrigerator.


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