Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177
degrees C) and place oven rack in the middle of the oven. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5-7
minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from oven and let
cool. Once completely cooled, place the nuts in a blender or small food
processor and process until finely ground. (The almonds need to be at room
temperature before processing to prevent them from turning into a paste. You can add about 1 tablespoon (13 grams) of
the sugar from the recipe to help prevent this from happening.)
Increase the oven temperature to 375
degrees F (190 degrees C) and line an 8 inch (20 cm) springform pan with
the cold eggs, placing the egg yolks in one bowl and the egg whites in another.
Cover with plastic wrap and let stand until they reach room temperature (about
chopped chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of
simmering water. Once melted, remove from heat.
place the egg yolks and 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar in the bowl
of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the yolks
and sugar until pale and thick (about 2 to 3 minutes). Beat in the melted
chocolate mixture and vanilla extract. Fold in the ground almonds.
In a clean
bowl, with the whisk attachment, place the egg whites and beat until foamy. Add
the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the
remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar and beat until stiff peak forms. Fold
about 1/4 of the whites into the chocolate batter to lighten it. Quickly fold in the rest of the whites and mix only until incorporated. Pour the
batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes or until a
toothpick inserted in the center of the cake has a few moist crumbs.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. The cake will rise during
baking but falls during cooling, leaving a crisp and cracked crust. Once
cool, run a spatula around the inside of the pan before releasing the sides. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate. Serve cold or at room temperature. Dust with powdered (icing or