My boyfriend’s birthday is next week and as we’re away this year (and I’m frightened of baking in temperamental foreign ovens…) he’s getting his cake early. I felt a bit guilty about not giving him the cake on his actual birthday but have overcome this by reminding myself that: 1) who ever complained about being given cake at any time?; and 2) he is not 5 years old. He doesn’t actually know about the cake yet but I imagine he’ll figure it out when this post pops up on his Facebook timeline…
Don’t you find that birthdays are always more surprising when celebrated a week early?
‘Chocolate’ was the only criterion stipulated. So I’ve gone for something that I’ve been working on for a while: a gooey flourless chocolate cake spiked with a heady orange and amaretto combo. It’s sticky, chocolatey, orangey and boozy all at the same time. Like an X-rated Terry’s chocolate orange.
Three bonus SURPRISE! facts about this cake:
1. It’s a lot lighter and moussier (not a word but I’m running with it) than it looks which means you can have seconds,
2. it’s gluten-free…
3. …and dairy-free. And you would never ever guess.
Bloody genius if I do say so myself.
Orange & amaretto chocolate torte
Makes a 20cm torte
– 150g good quality dairy-free dark chocolate, broken into pieces
– 150g dairy-free spread (I use sunflower spread), plus extra for greasing
– 150g caster sugar
– 4 tablespoons amaretto
– zest 1 orange
– 100g ground almonds
– 4 large eggs (free range please), separated
– cocoa powder, to decorate
Preheat your oven to 180°C and line the base of your tin with baking paper and line or grease the sides with dairy-free spread.
Put the chocolate, dairy-free spread, sugar, amaretto and orange zest in a large heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted and then set aside to cool slightly.
Stir in the almonds and egg yolks until combined.
Using the whisk attachment of your food mixer (or a hand-held electric whisk), whisk the egg whites until you get soft peaks. Good luck if you’re whisking by hand! Tip: Make sure the bowl and whisk are perfectly grease-free and dry otherwise your eggs won’t whisk up properly.
Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Tip: Be careful not to knock out the air at this point by over-mixing (I find this step easiest by hand as mixers can be over-enthusiastic)!
Pour / scoop the mixture into your tin and bake for about 40 minutes, until the cake is firm and cracked on top and just-set in the middle (a skewer will come out with a few sticky crumbs on it).
If serving cold, cool in the tin, draping a tea towel on top after about 10 minutes to keep the moisture in. If serving warm, leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes (this will make the cake easier to ease out) and then turn out. Tip: Don’t worry about the cracks and sunken middle – this is as it should be!
Dust with cocoa powder before serving.
Source: Cake recipe inspired by a Cake Angels recipe (light chocolate torte, p58); recipe and photos by pip & little blue.