FOOD! Flourless Chocolate-Orange Almond Cake, via Epicurious/Bon Appetit

I made this a few weeks ago, for a dinner party with friends (no one to impress = a great opportunity to step outside the cooking comfort zone!).  We were having raclette, which is a snacky-grazing sort of meal, so a little heavier dessert seemed in order (side note, raclette is actually very filling, and a nice sorbetor something light and fruity would probably have been a better choice!).The cake turned out really nicely, if a little crumbly.  I would possibly alter in a little, perhaps less baking time, or more orange juiceor maybe add some margarine to the recipe itself. The preparation was really putzy, though it will most likely be a lot more efficient the second time around.  My advice is to read through the directions a few times, and mentally prepare it in advance- otherwise you’ll find yourself with an overflowing dishwasher!The recipe suggests serving with sorbet, I just sprinkled it with powdered sugar, though a drizzle would have added a perfect bit of tartness.

Ingredients:

  • Pareve kosher-for-Passover margarine, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups whole almonds (6 to 7 ounces)
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush bottom of 10-inch-diameter springform pan generously with margarine. Blend almonds and 1/4 cup sugar in processor until almonds are finely ground. Add chocolate; blend until chocolate is finely ground, scraping sides and bottom of bowl occasionally.

Whisk cocoa, orange juice, and orange peel in small bowl until smooth. Combine egg yolks and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. Using electric mixer, beat until yolk mixture is very thick, about 4 minutes. Beat in cocoa mixture. Fold in ground-almond mixture. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and salt in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar, beating until whites are stiff but not dry. Fold whites into chocolate batter in 3 additions. Transfer to prepared pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with foil; store at room temperature.)

Cut around cake in pan; release sides. Cut cake into wedges. Transfer to plates. Place scoop of sorbet alongside.

Check out the site for a picture and helpful comments from others who’ve made this recipe.

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