Gâteau au Chocolat et Amandes

IMG_9908 (400x332)I find the difference between the food I make as a “home cook” and the food produced by a professional chef is light years apart. Whilst I love cooking and playing with different recipes a professional chef is continually working at creating new flavours, taste sensations and textures. I am fascinated by the food my chef daugher produces and all the exciting layers of flavour. I had to make desert for my Gourmet lunch this weekend and my daughter gave me a recipe for this chocolate cake that she had often made. I approached the cooking of the recipe with some trepidation but in fact all I had to do was follow her simple instructions and it worked out beautifully. The cake gets flattened a bit after cooking which gives it an incredibly dense, nutty, chocolaty centre. It tasted absolutely amazing and was probably the best cake that I have ever made. It can be served on its own or for real decadence can be served with a dollop of thick cream. It can pair well with a sweet desert wine, a port or a sparkling wine such as a refreshing Prosecco or delicate Cremant de Bourgogne, a frothy light wine from Burgundy.

Ingredients:

  • 300g Dark chocolate
  • 225g French Butter (French Market Cape Town)
  • 7 Eggs
  • 165g Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder plus extra for decoration
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 2 cups of flaked almonds
  • Wax paper (Baking paper)
  • Cake tin with spring form (the sides open and the base is separate)

Pairing suggestion – a bottle of San Leo Prosecco or Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne Rose from the French Market in Cape Town

Directions:               

  1. Preheat oven to 175degrees
  2. While oven is preheating, toast the almond flakes in the oven on a flat metal baking tray, until lightly golden (watch carefully that they do not go too brown) shake pan from time to time.
  3. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool, scrunch with hands until they are in small pieces.
  4. Chop butter and chocolate into small pieces.
  5. Create a bain marie (double boiler) by placing a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
  6. Place butter in bowl and stir until melted.
  7. Add the choclate and stir into butter until almost melted, remove from heat and it will continue to melt.
  8. Stir mixture until there are no lumps of choclate or butter left.
  9. Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl and allow mixture to cool down to lukewarm.
  10. Separate eggs.
  11. Whisk 40g sugar and the egg whites together until stiff and shiny.
  12. Beat egg yolks and add to the chocolate butter mixture.
  13. Mix in the cocoa powder to chocolate mixture
  14. Add the remaining 125g sugar and toasted almonds, stir until all blended togather
  15. Add one third of the whisked egg white and fold into chocolate mixture using a spatula or wide spoonso that you can lift the mixture as you lightly stir it in.
  16. Then fold in the second third, then fold in the last third , mixture must be evenly blended together.
  17. Line the base and sides of the cake tin with waxed/ baking paper. Spray with non stick baking spray.
  18. Pour in mixture and use spoon to spread evenly across the pan.
  19. Bake in centre of oven for about 30 to 40 minutes until top has risen a bit and is slightly cracked.
  20. Remove from oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes
  21. Place another layer of baking paper across the top and place a side plate on top of cake which will flatten it a little.
  22. Leave for 1 hour.
  23. Remove plate, remove cake from tin, remove baking paper.
  24. Place cake on a large flat plate. Dust the top with icing sugar, using a sieve. Then dust the centre with some cocoa powder.

Serve with a glass of chilled Prosecco or sparkling Rose wine from Burgundy.

Bon Appétit!

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