CHOCO­LATE AND AL­MOND CAKE WITH BRANDY CREAM

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - RECIPES -

( 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.

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