here's a chocolate cake
February 3, 2016
(my plate was also a birthday present. my sweet daughter chose it herself and I'm utterly delighted with it. here it is, it's not the dinner sized one, it's a side plate.)
The recipe comes from 'Tamasin's Kitchen Bible' by Tamasin Day Lewis, which is the BEST book for true British recipes and such fun to read. (only available used, but so worth seeking out) Nigel Slater loves her too, he says so right on the cover. (fun fact - Tamasin is sister to Daniel Day Lewis.)
She calls for baking the cake in either two 7 inch cake pans, which must be a Brit thing, because I've looked all over for that size and I can't find it. I think I'll have to special order from a cake supply place if I really want that size. OR she says that you can make it in one 8 inch round pan, which is what I always do.
CHOCOLATE ALMOND CAKE - 'Tamasin's Kitchen Bible'
Ingredients for the Cake:
6 oz good dark chocolate, chopped (I use Lindt)
1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (6oz)
3/4 cup white sugar (6 oz)
4 eggs, separated
1/3 cup ground almonds (3 oz) - I use almond flour
1/3 cup all purpose flour (3 oz)
Ingredients for the Icing:
4 oz good dark chocolate, chopped (Lindt again)
3 tablespoons butter - (1 and 1/2 oz)
1/4 cup white sugar (2 oz)
1/3 cup heavy cream (3 oz)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F / Gas 4. Grease and flour two 7 inch sandwich tins or one deeper, 8 inch round tin. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water. (I do mine in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time and checking constantly.) Cream the butter with the sugar (this is easily done in a food processor), then add the egg yolks one by one, then the almonds, flour, and the melted chocolate. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks (DO NOT overbeat), then gently fold them into the mixture, little by little.
Divide the mixture between the tins and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes. If using one deeper tin, cook for slightly longer. (between 25-28 minutes) Tamasin's daughter undercooks hers slightly for a damp, sticky center. Leave to cool slightly in the pan, then turn out on to a wire rack.
For the Icing - put all the ingredients into a bowl over a saucepan of hot water (I don't bother - I just melt it in a small saucepan right over a low flame) - stir gently over the heat. When smooth, leave to cool and then put into the fridge for a few minutes - it thickens as it cools, and becomes much easier to spread. If you have two sponges, sandwich them together with half the icing and spread half on top. If you have one sponge, cover the top and sides copiously with icing.
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DON'T BE SCARED of beating egg whites! That's what gives the cake its lovely light texture, despite all that chocolate. This cake is so, so, so good you guys. There's a reason I make it year after year! It is rich, but that makes it all the more ok to just keep slicing off the thinnest of slices....FIVE TIMES A DAY. I guess it's good that I only make it on my birthday.....I've just had it but you could make it for someone you love on Valentine's Day, I'm thinking.