Thursday, 5 March 2015

Chocolate Almond Square

I found a lovely recipe for Chocolate Almond Square in a book called Chocolate Bible, from Le Cordon Bleu.  I bought the book last week and have found a few recipes that I want to try.  This particlar one is called Chocolate Hazelnut Square, but does say you can substitute almonds, and since I had those in the cupboard, and rather prefer them I thought I would try it.  I did have to go on to Amazon.co.uk to get some chocolate sprinkles/vermicelli though, since my local supermarkets don't stock such things.    I now have 1 kg of them, so they will appear in future recipes, very soon.

It is quite an easy recipe to follow, though there are several bowls involved, so a fair bit of dish washing afterwards.  But a sink of hot, soapy water at the start of things makes it easy to keep on top of.  

In terms of time it takes at least 3 hours from start to finish, as you have to let the cake cook, cool completely before turning out and adding the ganache.  Then you have to refrigerate it to let the ganache set.  

But it is very worthwhile as the end result is most satisfactory. I didn't have an 18cm square tin, so I had to make do with a 20cm, which means a larger square, but a thinner cake. I could have adjusted the ingredient amounts,by adding 20% more, to take account of the larger tin, but didn't want to mess with it, and get the cooking time wrong.
Chocolate Almond Square

Ingredients:
Cake:

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 60g plain flour, sifted
  • 30g unsweetned cocoa powder, sifted
  • 50g ground almonds(or hazelnuts)

Glaze:

  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 100ml whipping cream
  • 20g mild honey

Decoration:

  • 150g chocolate sprinkles


Method:
Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/355F
  2. Butter and 18cm square tin, and dust it with flour.
  3. Melt the butter and set aside.
  4. Beat the egg yolks with 100g of the caster sugar, until pale and thickened.
  5. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites, gradually adding the remaining sugar, until they are smooth and shiny and form stiff peaks.
  6. Gently fold into the egg ylok/sugar mixture.
  7. Combine the flour, cocoa and almonds.
  8. Fold half of this mixture into the egg white mixture, then fold in the remainder in 2 separate batches.
  9. Add the melted butter.
  10. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  11. Cool before turning out onto a rack.

Chocolate Glaze:

  1. Finely chope the chocolate and place in a bowl.
  2. Heat the cream and honey in a small saucepan, until simmering, and pour over the chocolate.
  3. Stir gently until smooth.
  4. Set aside to cool.
  5. Use a spatula or palette knife to spread evenly over the entire surface of the cake.
  6. Press the chocolate sprinkles around the sides.
  7. Refrigerate for one hour, or until the glaze is firm.



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