Gluten-free Chocolate Almond Cake

Based on Alexandra’s blog

Ingredients

  • 12 oz unblanched* whole almonds (about 2 cups) 
  • 3/4 cups sugar, divided into 1/2 and 1/4
  • 10 oz bittersweet, coarsely chopped 
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter 
  • 6 large eggs, separated, yolk at room temperature, white kept cold
  • Zest of one orange, optional
  • 4 black cardamoms, 7 green cardamoms, take out seeds, ground, optional
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon, optional
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, optional
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • confectioner sugar for decorating

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF and set a rack on the lower or middle level. 
  2. Butter (coconut oil) a 9-inch springform pan. 
  3. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper. 
  4.  Grind the almonds in a food processor, in three batches, pulsing each batch with 2 tablespoons of the sugar, using 6 tablespoons in all. 
  5. In a bowl over simmering water or in the top of a double boiler melt the chocolate and butter together. Set aside. 
  6. Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl with an electric mixer until lemon-colored, about 5 minutes.
  7. Beat in the orange zest, if using
  8. Gradually beat in 10 tablespoons of the sugar. 
  9. Add the chocolate mixture, stirring to mix well. 
  10. Add the ground almonds and stir to just incorporate. 
  11. Add the 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier, if using, and stir to combine. 
  12. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the 1/4 cup sugar until they form firm peaks. 
  13. Stir in 1/4 of the egg whites.
  14. In two additions, fold half the egg whites each time into the chocolate mixture. 
  15. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top. 
  16. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  17. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing the sides of the springform pan, then cool completely. 
  18. If using confectioner sugar, flip the cake over and sift confectioners’ sugar over the top.
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