For our Bake-Along, together with my baking buddies, Lena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, we have decided to bake Chocolate Almond Torte from Joy of Baking. I actually baked this twice! The first time, I burned the top, as the temperature of my oven is a little high, I may have forgotten to adjust the temperature from my last baking! Even though the torte was lovely, it is just not the same, eating it by scraping off the top! After all, the rustic and crisp top is what makes this torte. I was dissatisfied and decided to bake this again.
It was perfect the second time round. Excuse this poor photo, it was taken at 5.20 in the morning, you know, still groggy from sleep and barely awake, as I have not had my "wake-up coffee" yet! By the time it was bright enough for some decent shots, more than half the cake has already gone, my daughter took some to school to share with her friends. This cake will rise above the baking pan during baking, but will settle down after baking, leaving a crater like top that remains crips, and some cracks.
Do not worry that the crips top falls apart upon cutting, it is supposed to be like that! Just put it back in place.
Though this is great when eaten at room temperature, it is heavenly when eaten chill from the fridge. When chilled, the texture is fudgy, chocolaty, moist and dense. A bite of it will almost melt in your mouth!
This is a delicious chocolate torte. If you are a chocolate lover, you will definitely enjoy this.
This lovely Torte is shared with :
Bake With Bizzy at Bizzy B. Bakes
Full Plate Thursdays at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Recipe Swap Thursdays at Prairie Story
Sweet Tooth Friday at Alli n Son
Chocolate Almond Torte
(source from : Joy of Baking)
7 ounces (200gm) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
11 tablespoons (150gm) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (150gm) granulated white sugar, divided (I use 120gm)
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (100gm) finely ground almonds (Ground 1 cup (100gm) of blanched or sliced toasted almonds in your food processor)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place oven rack in the middle of the oven. Place the sliced or blanched almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool. Once completely cooled, place the nuts in a blender of small food processor and process until finely ground.
Note : The almond needs to be at room temperature before grinding to prevent them from clumping. If you find the almonds still clump when you ground them, add about 1 tablespoon (13 grams) of the sugar from the recipe. The sugar will help prevent clumping as it absorbs any oil exuded from the almonds.
Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and line an 8 inch (20cm) sprinform pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Separate the cold eggs, placing the egg yolks in one bowl and the egg whites in another. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand until they reach room temperature (about 30 minutes).
Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Once melted, remove from heat.
Meanwhile place the egg yolks and 1/2 cup (100 gms) granulated white sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachement. Cream the yolks and sugar until pale and thick (about 2 to 3 minutes). Beat in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla extract. Fold in the ground almonds.
In a clean bowl, place the egg whites and whisk until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue whisking until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup (50gm) sugar and whisk until stiff peak forms. Fold about 1/4 of the whites into the chocolate batter to lighten it. Quickly fold in the rest of the whites and mix only until incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake has a few moist crumbs. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. The cake will rise during baking but falls during cooling, leaving a crisp and cracked crust. Once cool, run a spatula around the inside of the pan before releasing the sides. If not serving immediately, cover and place in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature. Dust with powdered (icing or confectioners) sugar.
(my notes : I did end up baking it a little longer that the time specified, about 15-20 minutes more as the insides are not cooked yet, so watch out for the baking time)