May 15, 2009
Last summer, to avoid endless days of gaming on behalf of my son, I urged my Junior Pup to do two things. Read a book per week and make a cake per week.
Pup read 3 novels, The World According to Garp, The Hotel New Hampshire and J-Pod, by Douglas Coupland. To make up for the deficit he made 11 cakes.
The cake featured today is the first cake he tried, with some help from me. It's based on a recipe in “My French Kitchen”; a collaboration between chef Fran Warde and author Joanne Harris of “Chocolat” fame. Her cake is called Gateau Lawrence in honour of her brother. It’s made with almonds instead of flour.
This is a very moist cake, in fact I remember mooshing it back into a circle when it came out the pan. It’s almost too rich for icing, maybe just a sprinkling of powdered sugar would do. But I will include an icing recipe because it was delicious.
Here we go.
For the cake
6½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces (about 1½ cups)
¾ of a cup unsalted butter at room temperature
⅔ cup sugar
1⅔ cups (7 ounces) ground sliced almonds
4 large eggs, separated
For the icing
3½ ounces bittersweet chocolate (about ¾ of a cup)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Heat the oven to 300◦F. Line a 10-inch spring form pan with parchment paper.
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt it in a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water, in a double boiler-like arrangement. Remove from heat and cool until tepid.
Cream together the butter and sugar until combined using an electric mixer. Add the ground almonds, egg yolks and melted chocolate and beat until evenly blended.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the cake mixture evenly with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes. A light crust will form on the top and the middle should still be a little squishy. Leave to cool a little before carefully removing the sides. Cool on a wire rack. Slide a long knife underneath the cake to release the parchment but leave it on the paper anyway.
For the icing, melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir. Spread evenly over the top of the cake and leave to set. Slide the cake off the paper and onto a serving platter. Serves 6.
Copyright © 2003, Joanne Harris and Fran Warde, My French Kitchen, HarperCollins Publishers.