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Chocolate Almond Torte

Chocolate Almond Torte: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Butter, or spray with a nonstick cooking spray, an 8 x 3 inch (20 x 8 cm) springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

Separate the eggs while they are still cold, placing the egg yolks in one bowl and the egg whites in another. Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and let stand until they reach room temperature (about 30 minutes).

Place the almonds, along with 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of the sugar, in your food processor and process until finely ground. (Don't overprocess or you'll end up with a grainy paste.)

Melt the chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Once melted, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Then place the egg yolks and 1/2 cup (100 grams) of the  granulated white sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (can use a hand mixer). 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 and salt.

Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment (can also use a hand mixer), and whisk until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. 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 your prepared pan and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake has a few moist crumbs. (The top of the torte will be dry with cracks)  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. 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. Serve at room temperature or cold. If desired, dust with powdered sugar. Serve plain or with whipped cream, vanilla cream, or a custard sauce (creme anglaise).

Makes about 8 - 10 servings.

Chocolate Almond Torte:

4 large eggs

1 cup (100 grams) slivered or sliced blanched almonds (can also use whole blanched almonds)

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar, divided

6 ounces (170 grams) semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

6 ounces (12 tablespoons) (170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) cream of tartar

Cream of Tartar - Cream of tartar can be found in the spice section of most grocery stores and should be stored in a cool dry place.

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