CHOCOLATE CAKE LE DIABOLO (for six)
For the cake:
butter and flour a cake pan 8 inches in diameter and 1-3/4 inches deep
¾ cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
6 ounces Ghiradelli’s sweet dark chocolate (or German’s sweet chocolate if Ghiradelli’s isn’t available)
¾ cup butter
4 tablespoons cake flour
2 tablespoons almonds, blanched and pulverized (to blanch almonds, drop them into boiling water for a few seconds. While they are still warm, press them between your thumb and index finger to slip off the skins. After the almonds have been blanched and skinned, dry them thoroughly in a low oven for at least 5 minutes. Then spin them, about ½ cup at a time, in a blender at full speed for half a minute to pulverize them.)
a pinch of salt
For the chocolate butter cream:
3-1/2 ounces Ghiradelli’s chocolate, half sweet dark and half bittersweet (or 3-1/2 ounces German’s sweet chocolate)
2 to 3 tablespoons strong coffee or water
3 tablespoons butter
1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375*.
2. Cut a round of waxed paper to fit the bottom of the cake pan. Butter the sides of the pan and one side of the paper. Lay the paper butter side up in the pan and flour the paper and sides of the pan. Set aside.
3. Beat the sugar with the 4 egg yolks until they are creamy yellow.
4. Put the chocolate and the butter into an enamel saucepan over simmering water, and stir until the chocolate is smooth. Add the egg and sugar mixture and continue stirring over low heat until well blended.
5. Stir in the flour and pulverized almonds.
6. Beat the 4 egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff but not dry. Stir one quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold all back into the remaining egg whites.
7. Fill the cake pan three-fourths full and tap it gently on the table to distribute the mixture evenly and remove any air pockets. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, watching carefully, until the outside is solid and the inside still creamy (not runny and not dry) when tested with a sharp knife. Let the cake cool before unmolding.
8. Make the chocolate butter cream: Melt the chocolate with coffee or water until smooth.
9. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.
10. Pour on top of the chocolate cake, using a metal spatula (moistened with water and dried) to spread.
11. Decorate the cake with toasted slivered almonds. Refrigerate before serving.
adapted from Simone Beck, Simka’s Cuisine