Recipe 28: White chocolate and almond cake

August 15, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Posted in baking | Leave a comment

Picture the scene… I’m cooking Sunday lunch for my parents and some good friends, but I need to be out of the flat on time for church as I am helping run the crèche and Saturday was devoted to getting jobs done (the flat was in a state of barely restrained chaos – mainly hangover from the kitchen work – but left to develop a momentum of its own as it had been ignored for so long). So time for some easy, prepare-ahead food for Sunday lunch! At this moment – San Tropez chicken comes to mind – chicken legs/thighs marinated and then cooked slowly in the marinade liquid – perfect for shoving in the oven and dashing out! But that is a classic, stand-by recipe… so time for innovation on the dessert front… careful reading of Forever Summer had reminded me of the white chocolate and almond cake – which sounded interesting and suitable for a relaxed, but lovely Sunday lunch pudding – I love wheat-free chocolate cakes for their texture which often manages to be somehow dense but light and invariably improve on sitting about for a day for the flavour to develop.

Making it: the downside of making wheat-free cakes is that usually eggs need to be separated… and this was no exception. It was an intriguing recipe to make – there were lots of stages – first creaming the butter and  sugar,  adding the egg yolks one at a time, then the melted chocolate and ground almonds – again another moment of being grateful for the kenwood as it could whirr away while I separated eggs, kept an eye on the microwave gently melting the chocolate and weighing out the almonds. Once this had formed a dense paste, it was combined with whisked egg whites and put in the oven for about 45 minutes.

Eating it: I served it with creme fraiche and raspberries (yes, more raspberries!). The cake itself wasn’t massively strongly flavoured but very delicious in a subtle, rich way. The white chocolate and almond was an undercurrent rather than a clear flavour – but a good background for the fruit – this cake is a stealth-wealth cake, not big brash conspicuous consumption!

Next time: I think I would make it again – although other wheat-free cakes are probably ahead in my affections – mainly the almond and clementine cake and the chocolate cloud cake. But i think it would be good when you want something different as part of a bigger spread – Nigella mentions it for picnics – and that would definitely work!

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