CHOCOLATE AND ALMOND CAKE WITH BRANDY CREAM
( Pictured) Serves 8.
This is a delicious cake that uses ground almonds instead of flour, which makes it wonderfully moist. It's an excellent grown-up birthday cake, but if you wish to make this for children, fill it with whipped cream and raspberries instead of the brandy cream.
For the cake, you will need:
125g (4 ½ oz) dark chocolate 4 eggs 150g (5oz) caster sugar 150g (5oz) ground almonds Icing sugar, for dusting For the brandy cream, you will need: 100ml (3 ½ fl oz) double cream 1-2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted 2 tablespoons brandy (or another liqueur such as rum or Cointreau) Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4. Prepare two 18cm (7in) cake tins: grease the sides and line the bases with discs of greaseproof paper. Melt the dark chocolate by putting it in a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water.
While the chocolate is melting, place the eggs and the caster sugar in a food mixer and whisk them for about 5-8 minutes until they are light and frothy. When the chocolate has melted, allow it to cool for a minute, then pour the eggand-sugar mixture gradually on to the chocolate, stirring all the time, and mix until combined. Gently stir in the ground almonds.
Divide the cake mixture between the two prepared tins and place them in the preheated oven. Cook for 17-22 minutes until the tops of the cakes feel firm in the centre. Allow to cool in the tins for about 10 minutes before carefully transferring them to a cooling rack. As they cool, the tops and sides of the cakes will crisp up and crack a little.
Meanwhile, make the brandy cream. Whip the double cream until it is just stiff and fold in the sifted icing sugar and the brandy. Spread the brandy cream on one cake. Sandwich the cakes together and dust the top with icing sugar.