When you say chocolate and almonds, I think YUM! This is by far one of my favorite duos and while it’s simple, it’s packed full of delightful flavors, so when I was choosing something to bake in honor of Julia Child’s 100th birthday, her Chocolate and Almond Cake was top of my list. It has quite a few steps, but all pretty simple really. The result: a moist chocolate cake that is enhanced by the flavors of rum and nutty almonds. I think in the future I might consider toasting the pulverized almonds to bring out more of its natural flavors, but overall, I give this cake a huge A+ and can understand why this was Julia’s favorite cake. I will be making this again for sure. Bon appetit!
- For Cake:
- 4 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
- 2 tbsp rum
- 1/4 lb butter, softened
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar (to beat with egg whites)
- 1/3 cup pulverized almonds
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup cake flour, sifted
- For Icing:
- 2 oz semisweet chocolate
- 2 tbsp rum
- 5 to 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter and flour the cake pan. Set the chocolate and rum in a small pan, cover, and place (off heat) in a larger pan of almost simmering water; let melt while you proceed with the recipe. Measure out the rest of the ingredients.
- Cream the butter and 2/3 cup of sugar together for several minutes until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture. Beat in the egg yolks until well blended.
- Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle 1 Tbsp. sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.
- With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in the almonds, and almond extract. Immediately stir in one fourth of the beaten egg whites to lighten the batter. Delicately fold in a third of the remaining whites and when partially blended, sift on one third of the flour and continue folding. Alternate rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are incorporated.
- Turn the batter into the cake pan, pushing the batter up to its rim with a rubber spatula. Bake in middle level of preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Cake is done when it has puffed, and 2 1/2 to 3 inches around the circumference are set so that a needle plunged into that area comes out clean; the center should move slightly if the pan is shaken, and a needle comes out oily.
- Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and reverse cake on the rack. Allow it to cool for an hour or two; it must be thoroughly cold if it is to be iced.
- For the icing, place the chocolate and rum in the small pan, cover and set in the larger pan of almost simmering water. Remove pans from heat and let chocolate melt for 5 minutes or so, until perfectly smooth. Lift chocolate pan out of the hot water, and beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time. Then beat over the ice and water until chocolate mixture has cooled to spreading consistency. At once spread it over your cake with spatula or knife.
- Optional: Press sliced almonds on the sides of the cake for added texture, taste and visual appeal.
Recipe courtesy of Julia Child via Oprah.com