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