Yesterday was yet another occasion that called for an incredibly rich, gooey and chocolaty dessert, our 6th wedding anniversary! No special celebrations as it was the first working day after a really long weekend, but I'm not complaining as we got to spend a whole lot of time together over the long weekend.
It is wonderful that our anniversary comes around thanksgiving when there are some really good deals for a lot of things and I finally got the much awaited Kitchen Aid mixer. I made two cakes over the weekend when having friends over and then again this one today. Baking is all that I can think of :)
I had borrowed the book, Chocolate and the Art of Low-fat Desserts by Alice Medrich a while back and had decided to make it on this day. This cake is really a chocolate lover's dream. It's just the kind of desert that both of us love, so rich with an intense chocolate flavor. I also love the way it looks, the cracked fallen top is just so attractive. You can check out a video of Alice making the cake here.
1/4 cup (1.25 ounces) whole almonds
3 tbs (.84 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa), finely chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
2 egg yolks
1 tbs brandy
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar (I did not use this)
powdered sugar for sprinkling
Position rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 F.
Grease and 8"round spring form pan.
Grind the almond with the flour until very fine and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the chocolate, cocoa powder and 3/4 cup sugar. Add the boiling water and whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in the brandy and the egg yolks and set aside.
Take the egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean and grease free bowl and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the egg whites and beat on high speed until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.
Whisk the flour and almonds into the chocolate mixture. Fold about a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and level the top if necessary.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool in the pan, on a rack, the cake will sink in the center.
Slide a small knife around the inside of the pan to detach the cake. Remove the sides of the pan and transfer the cake to a serving platter. Store cake at room temperature for one day or freeze for upto two months.
Sprinkle with some powdered sugar and serve at room temperature with berries and cream if you like.