October 16, 2012

Chocolate Almond Souffle Torte

Sometimes I feel so left out. I am a bit of an anomaly, among women, foodies, bloggers... human beings in general, I guess. Why?? Because I don't like chocolate. It's not my fault!! I used to!! Somewhere during my first pregnancy, it just disappeared. Now, though I don't hate it, chocolate just kinda does nuthin for me. I miss it. The good thing is, I can still appreciate it. A bite or two of some fabulous chocolate creation, and I can  see what I'm missing. So that means you, my readers, and my chocoholic husband, still get chocolate recipes. Hooray for small blessings!

In honor of a wonderful friend whose birthday is rapidly approaching, I'm sharing my deepest, darkest, most decadent, most gourmet, most fabulous chocolate cake recipe. My Mom taught it to me, and I destroyed my first few, but I've finally gotten the hang of it. She used to make it for office parties, and it would disappear. Dad got leftovers for breakfast. We, as children, and therefore insignificant in the culinary hierarchy,  were lucky if we got a sliver! This will KNOCK your socks off. (PS: Also, no flour!)

Chocolate Almond Souffle Torte (adapted from Cherie Haaland)
Printable Recipe

1 cup (5 oz) slivered almonds, toasted (I spread mine on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Wait till you smell them toasting, and they've browned a bit)
4 Tb plus 1/8 cup granulated sugar
teeny pinch of salt
2 Tb oil
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 lb semi or bittersweet chocolate (only use bittersweet if it's the highest quality) , finely chopped (Try to use high-quality chocolate, like Ghiradelli. if using cheaper chocolate, increase the sugar to 1/4 cup)
6 large eggs, separated, room temp.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 inch springform pan, then line with parchment paper and butter/flour paper. Set aside.

Combine the almonds and 4 Tb sugar in a blender, food processor, spice/coffee grinder. Process till almond are ground fine. Add oil and process till thick and pasty.

Combine butter and cream in a saucepan, heat on medium heat until the butter is melted. Add chocolate and whisk till smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in almond paste.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until they are pale and thickened, about 5 minutes.  (If using the same bowl to beat both eggs, make sure to transfer yolks to a large bowl, and  wash and dry your beater and bowl well before beating the egg whites)   

Beat egg whites (gradually adding the 1/3 cup sugar) until stiff peaks form.

Gradually whisk chocolate (vigorously) into egg yolks. Start with just a teeny drizzle at a time, to temper the eggs a bit. Carefully fold in the egg whites. It should still be streaky, or you've mixed your whites too much. This is the part that always scared the pants off me, but if you are gentle with those whites, you'll make a perfect cake. When in doubt, less-mixed is better.)
Bake about 35 minutes, it will still jiggle a bit in the middle. (It will come out all pretty and domed, then fall a bit. Don't worry, it's supposed to) Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for a few hours. Serve cold with whipped cream (I like to make homemade, and add a splash of almond extract) or dusted with powdered sugar. Store leftovers in the fridge.
Imagine the best dark chocolate truffle you've ever had. Now imagine that chocolate also has a hint of almond. Then imagine you have a whole CAKE of that chocolate! Be warned: If you don't like dark chocolate, this is NOT the cake for you!!
This is a rich dark chocolate truffle in cake form. Silky smooth, thick and decadent, just a hint of bitter... This is a Grown Up chocolate cake.
This is the cake I make for the love of my life for extra-special occasions, to show him in baking language how much I adore him. It takes him about a week or two to eat the whole thing, slice by teeny slice. Believe me, a teeny slice is PLENTY.
I can still appreciate it too!! One of the boys likes it, but I can't remember which... Now remember, this is my BEST, fanciest dessert. Use with care!! :) 
But I'll tell you, there is nothing quite like the feeling of folding in those egg whites, and removing a perfect cake from the oven. You'll feel like a five-star French Chef.

11 comments :

  1. First off, this cake is BEAUTIFUL!
    Next, it looks so moist and tender and delicious!
    Thanks for remembering and appreciating those of us who can put a piece of chocolate decadence into our mouths and let it melt away all the problems of the world. I can't wait to try this!

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  2. Yay for birthdays!! I'll hand this recipe directly to Chef Jeff and see what goodness ensues. Thanks so much for posting this, April. Looks so good I think I can smell it right through the screen :)

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  3. Happy Birthday to you, April's friend!
    This is so decedent! And your images make me so hungry for CHOCOLATE! I am so sorry you don't like it... but... more for me!!!
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful dessert!

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  4. Love the powdered sugar design!

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  5. One of my favourite cakes April. Lucky friend you have there. You are soooo thoughtful. Why can't we live next to each other??? Life's not fair! I could help you with your chocolate. My mom did that too . . . only let us have the crumbs from the table and saving the best bits for dad! I, at least, used to let my kiddos clean out the rice crispie pot! With five of them hunkering about it, it was a battle to the finish, but everybody won! Love ya. xxoo

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  6. This one should be attributed to Cherie Haaland... the source of the carrot cake... and the upcoming Farfalle with Spicy Peanut Sauce (you HAVE to share that one!)
    This really is one of the best flourless chocolate tortes out there. I think it's the almonds. Your boys are lucky that they aren't subjected to the culinary caste systems that we inflicted upon you. There is opportunity for some therapy there somewhere... I can just smell it!

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    1. Yes, I shall. Someday. Someday when Stephen is gone, I shall share the glorious spicy peanut farfalle... Yum.

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  7. Ooh I've never tried a flourless chocolate cake but it looks delicious. Love your fancy sugar design on top.

    I hate feeling like the odd one out when it comes to peanut butter. People go "WHAT?!" But I just don't like it. Must be even more difficult when it's chocolate!

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  8. Yum! Thanks for linking this in to Food on friday: Chocolate. Cheers

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  9. I want a bite of this right now! So delicious.
    I would love to have you join my new link party Wednesday Extravaganza! Come by and share this or other recipes. Here is the link
    http://www.hungrylittlegirl.com/1/post/2012/10/wednesday-extravaganza.html

    Can't wait to see you there!

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  10. So pretty! I need to make this!

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