Wednesday, January 13, 2010

CAKE ANXIETY: CHOCOLATE ALMOND TORTE & POUND CAKE TO BOOT


When I was invited to Paulie Gee's for a special pizza tasting, I offered to bring dessert. I have a few go-to crowd pleasers, like the Almond Olive Oil Cake, but I get bored with the same old cakes. Whenever I try a new recipe out on my family I always say, "I hope its good, if not they can just suck it!" But its not a good idea to try out new recipes on non-family people because of inevitable cake anxiety. So I freaked when I made this Chocolate Almond Torte to bring over to Paulie Gee's house.
I chose this particular cake because its flourless and we were going to be eating a lot of dough during the pizza tasting. The cake requires 7 egg whites, to be whipped until they have soft peaks. That right there can cause major cake upset but everything was fine until I realized I didn't add salt to the cake. Crap! So I just added sea salt to the top. Should be fine right? I couldn't be sure unless I tasted it. It was delicious and moist. But I couldn't bring a cut cake to the party. So I had to make another cake. This time I decided to use only 5 eggs, because they were XL not L like the recipe called for. The peaks didn't quite get there because I got a little yoke into the mix. Oh no! But I did add the salt. After all that I think the first one turned out much moister and better, and I really like the sea salt on top, but the one I brought was still pretty good. Now that Mommy gave me a new Food Processor for Christmas I will be making this torte again. Its so chocolatey and divine. And I love that its just chocolate, almonds, sugar and egg whites.
That left me with 12 egg yokes. Pound Cake! This recipe turned out amazingly. I ate one and froze one. This recipe is perfect. Even the defrosted pound cake was delicious.

*My only change would be to add sea salt to the top of the torte instead of in the batter.

1 cup (5 ounces) unsalted, unblanched whole almonds.
7 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, broken into big pieces (no need to chop)
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 large egg whites (about one cup), room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a nine-inch springform cake pan.

Combine the almonds, chocolate, ½ cup of sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse until the almonds and chocolate are very finely chopped but not completely pulverized. Set aside.

Beat egg whites with remaining ¼ cup sugar until stiff peaks form when the beaters are lifted.

Gently fold one third of the nut mixture into the egg whites until just incorporated. Repeat with another third of the nut mixture, then once more with the last third.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, or with just a little melted chocolate, about 30-35 minutes.

Cool cake completely and remove from pan. Cover or wrap tightly, and store for up to 3 days at room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Orange Pound Cake Adapted Diana Rattray's Lemon Pound Cake

6 TBSP butter
2/3 C. sugar
4 egg yolks
1 1/4 C. cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 C. soy milk
1 TBSP grated orange zest
1 TBSP orange juice1/2 tsp vanilla etxract
1 TBSP cointreau or other orange liquor

Preheat oven to 35 degree and grease a loaf pan.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until light and fluffy then blend thoroughly into creamed mixture.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to the cream mixture, alternating with the milk. Beat well.

Blend in the orange zest and juice and extracts. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan on rack for about 45 minutes; remove from pan and cool thoroughly.

2 comments:

Barbara GF said...

There's nothing like a slice of good cake, and this torte looks like it takes the cake! I have got to try this one.

Elie's Papel said...

that torte looks fantastic... nice photo, they are hard to do!