Chocolate Almond Cake

Chocolate Almond Cake
Chocolate Almond Cake - THE BEST!
from the kitchen of Ellen, with thanks to The Essence of Chocolate, by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg

  • Ingredients:
    • Cake:
      • 12 oz unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
      • flour for pan
      • 1 lb almond paste
      • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
      • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
      • 8 large eggs
    • Filling and Glaze: *
      • 4 oz 82% extra dark chocolate, melted
      • 12 tbs (6 oz) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
      • 8 oz 70% bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
*note: I used the 12 oz bittersweet chocolate that I had at hand for the chocolate in the filling and glaze, and was still delicious!

  • Position:
    • rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  
  • Lightly:
    • butter the bottom and sides of a 17 x 12 by 1" baking sheet (half sheet pan).  Line the bottom with parchment, butter the parchment, then flour the parchment and the sides of the pan. Set aside.
  • In:
    • the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and almond paste on medium speed, scraping down the sides as necessary, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is light and creamy.  Add the sugar and coca and blend on low speed. Increase speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated.  Continue to mix for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightened, scraping down the sides as necessary. 
  • Pour:
    • the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly, making certain to get in the corners.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until just set: the surface should still be slightly spongy to the touch, but a skewer inserted in the center will come out clean, and the cake will begin to pull from the sides of the pan.
  • Remove:
    • from the oven and cool on a cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes.  Turn out onto a rack and cool completely.  
  • Place:
    • the cake in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes so it will be easier to cut.
  • To make the glaze:
    • scatter the butter over the bottom of a medium skillet and top with the chopped chocolate.  Place over medium heat and let sit until about three-quarters of the chocolate is melted.  Remove the pan from the heat and whisk just to combine and melt the remaining chocolate; whisk gently, to avoid creating bubbles.  Transfer the glaze to a measuring cup with a spout.  
  • Using:
    • a 2 1/2 round cutter, cut 24 discs from the cake.  Place them on a rack over a baking sheet.  Brush the top of 12 cakes with melted chocolate, and top with the remaining 12 discs, leaving room between them.  Let the cakes come to room temperature before glazing.  
  • Slowly:
    • pour some glaze over the center of one cake, then use a small offset spatula to push the glaze over the sides, coating the top and sides.  Smooth the sides to voer if desired.  Repeat with the remaining cakes.  Let the cakes sit at room temperature until the glaze sets, then transfer to a platter or individual plates.


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