We are long overdo for another chocolate recipe on here. So here we go, for all you chocolate and almond lovers out there. Sometimes I like to execute a recipe that is prepared in a method that I have never done before. This is certainly one of those recipes that is very different than the average chocolate cake. In stead of using flour, it uses ground almonds and cake or bread crumbs. Now, when I first came upon this recipe I thought "when am I ever going to have extra cake to make crumbs out of... or think to use bread for this even. So I simply set it aside, thinking that I would never make it. You're probably thinking much of the same haha well, guess what I had laying around in my freezer without any defined purpose? An extra un-frosted cake! Crazy, right? I actually had leftover batter from my Easter cupcakes, so I made a 10" cake out of it then froze it to maybe practice my frosting techniques at a later time. Well, when I ran into this recipe again, I realized my luck- I can finally make this ominous recipe! You're probably saying that you're in the same boat and can't make it because you don't have cake crumbs. Good news! You can actually use bread crumbs. So if you are interested, just use up that extra bread you have laying around to make some crumbs in the food processor. I actually halved the recipe and made it in an 8" inch round cake pan for about 30 minutes. I had my doubts that it would work out properly, but it came out absolutely perfect. And I was so surprised when I took my first bite! It looked so dense and decadent... but it wasn't even the slightest bit dense. It was extremely light and subtle. The ganache really kicked it up a notch though! When I think about it, I don't know why I would think this cake to be dense since it calls for whipping the egg whites and folding them in separately- duh. Anyways, this is a very good cake, not as hard as you might think after reading through it. So if you're up for something different, take a stab at this cake!
The title for this cake comes from the "Total Heaven Bakery" which Nick Malgieri opened with his friend years ago. He writes that it was their best selling cake, which was another prompter for me to finally make this.
Total Heaven Chocolate Almond Cake
Recipe from "Chocolate" by Nick Malgieri
1 cup whole almonds, about 4 oz
1 1/2 cups fresh white bread or cake crumbs
1 tsp cinnamon
12 Tb (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar, divided in half
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
8 large eggs, separated
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/4" pieces
1/4 cup toasted, sliced almonds to garnish sides
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 10 inch round cake pan with spray or parchment. Place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Combine with the crumbs and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
2. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the butter and half the sugar together for about 2 minutes. Then beat in chocolate.
3. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down bowl and beater occasionally with spatula. Beat in almond extract.
4. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in almond and crumb mixture.
5. In a clean dry mixer bowl, whip egg white and salt on medium speed until they are white and opaque and beginning to hold a very soft peak. Increase speed to high and whip in the remaining sugar 1 Tb at a time. Continue to whip the egg whites until the hold a soft peak.
6. Stir in a quarter of the whopped egg whites into the chocolate batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites with a spatula.
7. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45 minutes or until it is well risen and a toothpick comes out with only a small amount of batter clinging out it.
8. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 5 minutes the un-mold cake onto rack to cool. The center of the cake will sink slightly in as it cools. Turn the cooled cake over again so that what was the top while the cake was baking is on top. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut away any high edges and to trim the top of the cake even.
9. Before you glaze the cake, chill it or an hour. Prepare the glaze and let it cool. Invert the cake (so what was the bottom is now the uppermost) onto a piece of cardboard or a spring form base and use a small metal offset spatula to spread some of the glaze over the entire outside of the cake to seal it. Use no more than a few tablespoons of the glaze. Refrigerate cake 15 minutes to set the glaze.
10. Set the chilled and masked cake on a rack in a jelly roll pan and pour the rest of the glaze over it, starting in center of cake and pouring outward in larger and larger circles to the edge, ending at top edge. Let glaze run down and over sides of the cake. Scatter almonds around the edge of cake before glaze sets.
1. Bring the cream to a boil, then remove from the heat. Add the chocolate, allow to stand two minutes, then whisk until smooth. Pour into a bowl and cool to room temperature.