- Serves: 8
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Effort: medium
- 60 g ground almonds, plus 1 tbsp extra for sprinkling
- 150 g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 6 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp amaretto (almond liqueur)
- 350 g bittersweet chocolate, chopped, 72% cocoa solids
- icing sugar, for dusting
- mascarpone or whipped cream, to serve
- toasted flowers, to decorate (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. While it is heating, put 60g of ground almonds on a small baking tray and place in the oven until lightly toasted.
2. Generously butter a 23-cm springform tin. Lightly dust the interior with the extra 1 tablespoon of ground almonds, then turn the pan upside down and shake out any excess. Wrap two layers of foil around the bottom of the cake tin and set aside.
3. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar at top speed for 8-10 minutes, until the mixture is light, cream coloured, and voluminous.
4. Meanwhile, melt 150g of butter in a small saucepan and stir in the amaretto.
5. Pour about 5cm of hot water into a large saucepan and keep it at a low simmer. Place a heatproof mixing bowl over the saucepan, ensuring that the base of the bowl does not touch the water.
6. Combine the melted butter-amaretto mixture and the chopped chocolate in the bowl and stir until the chocolate has completely melted. Remove the bowl from the pan promptly and allow to cool slightly.
7. Fold half of the whisked egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, then pour this mix back into the remaining egg mixture. Add the toasted almonds and fold very gently until everything is incorporated do not overmix: its important to keep as much air as possible in the batter.
8. Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Sit the tin in a deep baking tray and place in the preheated oven. Carefully pour in enough hot water to come about one-third up the sides of the cake tin and bake for 25-30 minutes.
9. When ready, the top of the cake will lose its glossiness and will be slightly wobbly in the centre; it should not bake so long that the top cracks.
10. Carefully lift the cake from the water bath and let it cool completely in its tin on a wire rack. Run a small knife around the edge of the cake and remove the spring-clip ring. Dust the top of the cake with icing sugar and serve with mascarpone or whipped cream. Decorate with edible flowers, too, if desired.
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