After a hectic week with the kids and several meals out, we stayed in for lunch today after spending the morning at Sonora beach. The fridge was full of bits and pieces of previous meals and so I made a salade composée (fancy French name for a salad made up of whatever is on hand a.k.a. leftovers) and I came up with this – olives, arugula, thin slices of cold roast chicken, beets, cherry tomatoes, corn on the cob and a hard-boiled egg topped with mayonnaise mixed with spicy English mustard – not bad for an impromptu lunch.
The afternoon was quiet with all the kids at the pool so I took advantage of the time to make a cake. I was craving for something not too sweet to have with my afternoon espresso and found an easy-to-do chocolate cake. Here’s the recipe:
Chocolate almond cake (Enough for 10)
- 200 gr. fine dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- a small hot espresso
- 200 gr. butter
- 80 gr. plain flour, sifted
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 level Tbsp. very good-quality cocoa powder
- 125 gr. almonds
- 5 eggs, separated
- 200 gr. golden unrefined caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4
- Lightly butter the base of a cake tin (23-24 cm. in diameter, about 5 cm. deep) and lined with a round baking parchment.
- Break or chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. As soon as it has started to melt, pour the hot espresso over the chocolate. Cut the butter into chunks and drop into the chocolate and coffee. Resist the temptation to stir.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa together.
- Don’t skin the almonds, but blast them in a food processor until they resemble fine, fresh breadcrumbs.
- Separate the eggs, dropping the whites into a large bowl.
- Whisk the whites till they are thick and stiff, then quickly but gently fold in the sugar with a large metal spoon.
- Remove the chocolate from the heat and stir to dissolve the last of the butter.
- Mix the egg yolks together then stir them quickly into the chocolate, just till the ingredients come together.
- Fold firmly but gently into the egg white and sugar.
- Lightly fold in the flour and cocoa mixture, then the ground almonds. Work slowly and firmly but lightly. Don’t over-mix or knock the air out, and stop as soon as the last bit of flour is mixed in.
- Transfer the mixture to the cake tin and bake for twenty-five minutes.
- Test the cake for doneness with a skewer. It should come out clean, without any sticky cake mixture attached to it.
- Leave to cool slightly before turning out and slicing.