I'm normally very hesitant to bake here at this altitude. Everyone in BogotŠ has a horror story about something not rising properly or being undercooked (our own story is the sad tale of peanut butter cookies never to satisfy their raison díÍtre). I figured the best way to combat my fear would be to bake something without flour or baking powder. I remembered an ad in a magazine recently for Green & Blacks, containing recipes. So I went to their website and saw a recipe for flourless chocolate cake. Perfect, I thought, for the Ambassatrix's birthday. A seriously fudgey concoction.
By the way, I'm calling it a "Colombian" chocolate cake not because you'd ever see something like this in Colombian cuisine, but because I used Santander Colombian chocolate bars, with bits of espresso in them. For the price, Santander is a tough chocolate to outshine.
The cake, by the way, received rave reviews (even from one woman who admittedly doesn't love chocolate deserts). While the recipe says it serves 10, we served 14, and no one was left hungry. This is a pretty dense piece of cake. A little goes a long way.
So without further ado...
Flourless Colombian Espresso Chocolate Cake
adapted from Green & Blacks
If you have no scale, and you need to convert grams to cups, try this page.
300g Dark 70% Chocolate (I used about half with espresso bits and half "regular" 70%)
275g Caster sugar (I used regular sugar, actually)
165g Unsalted butter
Pinch of sea salt
1 T ground almonds plus extra for dusting the tin (maybe a total of 3 T to 1/4 cup)
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grind up almonds (sliced or slivered makes it easier) in a coffee grinder.
2) Butter and dust a cake tin (20cm or 23cm (8in or 9in) cake tin with removable base or similar-sized tart tin) with a removable base.
3) Put the first 4 ingredients in a bowl over barely simmering water and allow to melt.
4) Whisk the eggs with the ground almonds and then fold into the chocolate mixture with a spatula off the heat until entirely incorporated.
5) Pour into the cake tin and bake for between 35 and 40 minutes.
6) Allow to cool, and dust with icing sugar. If you're feeling real fancy-pants, dust with cocoa powder first and then, using a stencil, icing sugar. Use your imagination. Your stencil doesn't have to be an homage to the Vietnamese flag.
Because this wasn't decadent enough (ha!) I thought it necessary to top off each slice with some Prager Port Chocolate Drizzle. That touch really made it gourmet. Oh yeah.