Almond Chocolate Cake with Nougatine

Almond Chocolate Cake with Nougatine Recipe

I served this indulgent chocolate dessert for tea time this week. What I like most about it was that it's gluten free, made with almond meal and the texture was so moist. I topped the individual cakes with toffee salted caramel chocolate frosting and a garnish of crushed almond brittle.

This week has gone by ridiculously fast! I'm planning on baking a lot this weekend for our weekly family brunch and will share the recipes this upcoming week. Relax and spend as much time as you can with your loved ones. Life is short. Hug them, tell them you love them and give extra attention to the ones who love you most!

Ingredients

Yields: 12 servings

4 eggs
½ cup granulated sugar, + 1 tablespoon
1½ teaspoons vanilla paste (optional)
1 cup almond flour (see tips)
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, + 2 teaspoons
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 ounces toffee salted caramel chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons whole milk
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ (3½-ounce) bar crushed almond "chikki" (brittle nougatine)


Directions

For the nougatine: Coarsely crush the nougatine. Place in a mortar and pestle and grind into a fine mill. 

For the almond chocolate cakes:

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with ¼ cup of sugar until you get a pale yellow foam; the texture of the egg yolk will be thicker. Add the vanilla paste (if using).

In another mixing bowl, cream 6 tablespoons butter and ¼ cup of sugar. Set aside.

Make a "double boiler" (a pot filled with hot water, covered with a piece of cloth) and place a stainless steel bowl filled with semi-sweet chocolate chips on top. Slowly melt, stirring frequently. Turn off the heat. Stir well until the mixture is uniform.

Combine the egg mixture, melted chocolate, butter mixture, ⅛ teaspoon salt and almond flour. Mix until just combined.

Spread a thin layer of butter in a non-stick. 12-cavity brownie pan. Pour cake batter equally into the cavities, even out using a spreader or spatula. Bake for 5 minutes at 375°F; lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for about 20 minutes until the top rises and is crackly. 

Allow to cool to room temperature (they taste even better the next day).

Making toffee salted caramel chocolate frosting:

Place the chopped toffee salted caramel chocolate in the same stainless-steel mixing bowl used previously. Make a "double boiler". Slowly melt, stirring frequently. Turn off the heat and add the milk and a dollop of butter. Stir well until the mixture is uniform. Let cool for 5 minutes. 

In a small mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream with ⅛ teaspoon salt (at low speed) for 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth. Add 1 tablespoon sugar. Increase to maximum speed and keep beating for another 2-3 minutes, until it forms soft peaks. Do not over-beat or the texture will become grainy.

Pour ⅓ of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate. Mix well. Pour in the rest of the whipped cream; using a silicone spatula, gently fold the cream into the chocolate.

Cover the chocolate frosting with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour until ready to assemble.

Assembly:

Add a dollop of the toffee salted caramel chocolate frosting to each mini cake. Garnish with the nougatine (using a medium-mesh strainer).

Serve immediately at room temperature. 

Bon appétit!


Tips

Little reminder on how to make almond flour: Place the almonds in a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil for about 3 minutes. Drain and remove the skin. Coarsely chop them. Grind the almonds with a food processor or spice grinder (I use the VitaMix Dry Blade Container). Make sure you stop before it turns into almond butter. The result should be a fine white mill. You could also buy it directly (you can find almond flour at Trader Joe's).

You can find the nougatine (almond brittle) in most Indian or Asian markets or can make your own.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on February 28, 2014.


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