Chocolate almond torte

choc torte

Have you ever had that sinking feeling moment when you realise you’ve left out an ingredient from a recipe? It’s usually after the cake etc has been in the oven for a few minutes and you start to clean up the counter and spy that ingredient you took out/bought for the recipe and don’t remember using. Yeah, that feeling. Then you go through the thought process…. faaarrkkk – can I fix this? Will it make a huge difference if I leave it? Will anyone notice?

I did this with a cheesecake once – I forgot the sugar. This is a major omission. I tried to stir it through after it had started baking, it wasn’t a complete fail, but a gradient of sweetness in the final product (super sweet in the middle and bland at the edges) was not what I call success.

recipe book recipe book cover

In the interests of ‘continuous quality improvement’ I decided to write a post for this recipe in which I seem to have omitted the cream. Rather a lot of cream, as you can see from the published recipe. In my defence, the instructions in the recipe I was following omitted the cream. I can’t believe this could happen in a cookbook that crows about being ‘triple tested’!!

PS – I don’t normally draw on my books – I was feeling a little annoyed, as this was a cake I was making for my son’s 16th birthday.

My sister recently had a birthday. She was terribly upset that her children forgot and terribly upset with her children for forgetting. I sort of sympathise with her, but I also think there are a few people ahead in the queue who could have done more. Her partner for one. I confess that I always remind my kids that my birthday is coming up; really, I don’t expect them to keep a calendar like I can. I usually drop subtle hints like: ‘I’m really looking forward to a hug and breakfast in bed for my birthday tomorrow!’

Anyway, the lesson here is that I can only blame myself for the recipe fail, as I didn’t read the instructions carefully enough to notice an ingredient missing from the instructions.

So the six million dollar question is: how did the cake turn out? Actually, pretty well. It is very rich, quite moist and full of chocolate and I honestly didn’t feel that anything was missing from it. I expect the cream would have made it softer, moister and less intensely chocolatey.

choc torte slice 2

I served it with a huge dollop of cream to make up. Mr 16 had his with vanilla ice cream (no candles any more).

Happy birthday to my wonderful son.

Note added: we had this the next day warmed up until the ganache melted and served with cream (and ice cream) as a dessert – it tasted much better.

Modified from: The Baking Collection – The Australian Women’s Weekly (2014)

Chocolate almond torte

  • Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: moderate (multiple steps)
  • Print

Serves: 12

Ingredients:

Chocolate cake

  • 200 g almond meal
  • 185 g butter, chopped
  • 200 g dark chocolate (I used 50:50 mix of 70% and 45% cocoa solids – 70% makes this cake very strong), chopped
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 220 g caster sugar
  • 1 cup (250 g) double cream (optional… but not recommended)

Almond praline

  • 50 g flaked almonds, toasted until lightly brown
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 40 ml (about 2 ½ tablespoons) water

Chocolate ganache

  • 125 ml 35% fat cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 200 g dark chocolate (I used 50:50 mix of 70% and 45% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces

Method:

Chocolate cake

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
  • Grease and line a 24 cm springform tin with baking paper
  • Stir butter, chocolate (and cream, if using!) in a pot on the stove over a low heat until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
  • Whisk egg yolks and sugar until light and creamy.
  • Fold the chocolate mixture through the egg yolk mixture, then stir through the almond meal.
  • Use a stand mixer to whisk the egg whites on medium high until soft peaks form.
  • Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in two batches.
  • Pour into pan and bake for 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave in tin to cool for about 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Almond praline

  • Spread the toasted almond flakes evenly on baking paper lining a baking tray (leave a handful aside to decorate the cake after it has been glazed).
  • Place sugar and water in a pot on the stovetop and heat with stirring until dissolved.
  • Turn up heat and boil, without stirring, until the mixture turns an amber brown and caramelises. Watch this and do not let it burn!
  • Working quickly, pour the caramel over the toasted nuts so they are evenly coated.
  • When cool, smash the praline by lightly blitzing in a food processor.

Chocolate ganache

  • Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
  • Heat the cream and vanilla paste in a pot on the stove until it is just starting to boil.
  • Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth and glossy.
  • Once cooled, use to glaze the cake, sprinkle the top with almond praline and decorate the sides with toasted almonds.
  • Serve with a dollop of cream or vanilla icecream

choc torte full   choc torte slice

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11 thoughts on “Chocolate almond torte

  1. cheergerm

    Yeah, more birthday blogging! Happy birthday to your son and the cake looks fab, moist, rich and dense. I am a big believer in reminding my kids it’s my birthday…and my husband…subtly of course?
    Even those triple tested recipes get it wrong, we needn’t feel overly bad in the future when we make a mistake on our recipes!? 😁

    Reply

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