Knowing I had a friend coming for her annual fall visit, I decided this would be the perfect desert to try while she was here. Yes, those who know me, are very aware if you spend time at my table, you will be subject to my trying new recipes. So far I only recall one recipe that wasn't well received by a guest, so my batting average is pretty good.
For my gluten free friends, I think this cake may work for you since it does not contain any flour, but rather uses ground almonds.
I will admit to being a little skeptical of the chocolate and lemon combo. Both are flavors I love, but typically would not consider putting them together. However, the lemon mascarpone is so light and subtly flavored, it pairs well with the richness of the cake. Feel free to double the recipe so you can slather it on thick!
2 sticks of unsalted butter (16 tablespoons)
8 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate
12 ounces blanched almonds
8 large eggs (6 extra large)
1 Tablespoon espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons confectioners sugar
12-14 ounces mascarpone
1 very large lemon
Place the rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.
Using 1 tablespoon of butter, grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch removable bottom cake pan.
Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper and butter the paper.
Melt the remaining butter and chopped chocolate in a heavy saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth, stirring frequently.
In a food processor, process the almonds in two batches, each with 2 tablespoons of sugar, until they are ground very fine and powdery. Transfer the almonds to a large bowl. Stir in the espresso powder and set aside.
Separate the yolks and whites of the eggs. Place the egg yolks In a very large bowl, beat the yolks until they are thick and light, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup sugar and beat 2 minutes longer. Add the melted chocolate and the almond extract to the yolks. Stir well.
Stir in the ground almonds until thoroughly mixed.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until foamy. Gradually add in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, beating until the egg whites are very stiff. Add the beaten egg whites to the batter in two batches, folding until the egg whites are thoroughly incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60-75 minutes or until the cake is just firm. Cool on a wire rack, remove sides of the pan and invert the cake onto serving plate. Remove the parchment paper and dust with 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar pushed through a sieve (I use my tea strainer).
For the Lemon Mascarpone: Beat the mascarpone with 6 tablespoons confectioners sugar. Zest the lemon and add it to the mascarpone with 2 teaspoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice and a large pinch of salt.
Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are blended. Refrigerate until about 1 hour before serving. Whip gently with a large fork and serve a dollop with each slice of cake.
Experience Notes: You will need large bowl for beating the egg yolks because you will be folding in the beaten egg whites. My largest mixing bowl was nearly overflowing.
If you'd like to make your cake a little more decadent if you're serving to an adult audience, poke holes in the top with a toothpick and drizzle on some Godiva Chocolate Liqueur. I did this as a test on a few pieces and it was tasty.
....and That's What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!