Chocolate Almond Cake

This rich cake is lower in calories than many shop-bought cakes and makes a treat for chocolate lovers. It is better to undercook than overcook it, as moist, sticky chocolate cake is quite delicious. You will need a liquidiser for this recipe.
Preparation time : 40 minutes,
Cooling time : 2 hours,
Cooking time : 30 minutes,
Oven : Preheat to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4),
Calories per serving: 390


serves 8
1 tablespoon instant coffee
4 oz (115 g) plain chocolate
4 oz (115 g) butter
4 oz (115 g) caster sugar
3 eggs
2 tablespoons marmalade
3 oz (75 g) blanched almonds
1/4 teaspoon almond essence
Salt 2 oz (50 g) plain flour

h2>For the Icing 1/2 tablespoon instant coffee
2 oz (50 g) plain chocolate
2 oz (50 g) unsalted butter


1. Fill the bottom of a double-boiler or pan with water and bring to a simmer. Butter an 8in (200mm) cake tin and dust it with flour. Mix the tablespoon of coffee with 1 tablespoon of boiling water. Place the coffee with the chocolate in the boiler or in a bowl which fits inside the rim of a saucepan without touching the water and slowly melt the chocolate until it is completely smooth, then set it aside.

2. Soften the butter with a fork and mix it with all but 1 teaspoon of the sugar until creamy. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks and the marmalade into the butter mixture and leave to one side.

3. Toast the almonds in the Oven for 5 minutes, until they begin to colour. Remove from the Oven, allow to cool and grind in a liquidiser to a fine consistency.
Stir the melted chocolate into the butter mixture and mix in the almond essence with all but 2 tablespoons of the ground almonds.

4. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt, until soft peaks begin to form. Sprinkle on the remaining sugar. Beat again until stiff and set aside.
With a rubber spatula, fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the butter mixture. Sift 1/3 of the flour over the mixture and fold in. Repeat this process twice.

5. Scrape the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 25-30 minutes in the Oven. The centre of the cake should still be soft when cooked. Remove from the Oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack and cool for 2 hours before icing.

6. To make the icing, mix 1/2 tablespoon of coffee with 1/2 tablespoon of boiling water. Then melt the chocolate with the coffee as before, stirring until creamy. Remove from the heat and gradually beat in the butter. Allow the icing to cool until it is thick enough to spread over the cake. Dust with the remaining ground almonds.

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