Desserts : Cakes|
Mother's Day Cake
(Makes One 9-Inch Cake)
1 1/2 cups Almonds; Skinned
6 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate; Chopped
6 large Eggs; Yolks and Whites Separated
6 oz. Sweet Butter (Unsalted)
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1 tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
2 tsp. Instant Espresso or Coffee Powder
8 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate; Chopped
Toast almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a 350-F degree oven for about 15-minutes or until the almonds are lightly colored and fragrant. Make sure to shake the pan occasionally to turn almonds while toasting.
Pre-heat oven to 375-F degrees. Spray the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with a non-stick cooking spray. Dust lightly with flour or very fine, dry bread crumbs. Shake out any excess and set prepared pan aside.
Warm chopped chocolate in the top of a small double boiler over warm water set at moderate heat.
Cover until partially melted, then stir until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Reserve 1/2 cup sugar and place the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the almonds in a food processor or blender and chop until nuts are fine and powdery. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl beat the butter until soft. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and reserve the remaining 1/4 cup sugar for use later.
Beat sugar and butter until thoroughly combined. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and continue to beat until smooth.
Add the melted chocolate and blend on low speed until combined. Add almonds and continue to beat mixture on a low speed setting.
In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with salt and lemon juice. Start on low speed and gradually increase until the egg whites hold a soft shape. Reduce speed again and add remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Then on high speed, beat egg whites to soft peaks.
Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture about one-third at a time until blended. Pour the cake batter into the prepared spring form pan an quickly rotate to level the batter. Bake for 20-minutes at 375-F degrees, then reduce heat to 350-F degrees and continue to bake an additional 50-minutes. Remove cake from pan when cooled, after about 1-hour.
To prepare the Icing, scald the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until a thin skin forms on the top. Add the espresso or coffee powder and whisk to dissolve. Add the chocolate and whisk to dissolve, for about a minute or two. Remove from heat and continue to stir to finish melting the chocolate. Let icing cool for about 15-minutes.
Pour the icing over the top of the cake, starting at the center. Gently push the icing with a spatula over the sides to dribble down the cake.
Top with shaved chocolate, or whipped cream just prior to serving. A fresh strawberry is an optional garnish with each served slice.
Submitted by Elisa Cage (23), Texas
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