It's Passover 2006/5766 and, in preparation, the first thing I went looking for was a chocolate cake recipe. In the spirit of trying something new (and becoming a certified expert in all things rich and chocolatety) I gave this recipe from Bon Appétit a shot. It's perfect just the way it is; I see no need to make any adjustments.
Compared to this chocolate cake, this one here is more "cakey" for lack of a better term, as opposed to "fudgey". I also really like the orange flavor of this, which gives it another dimension and makes you feel healthy because you're getting a little vitamin C. Right. But keep in mind that this one is simply more work to make. You end up with an enormous quantity of dirty bowls, spoons, mixers, and spatulas to clean. But it's worth it; everyone really enjoyed it (halfway through dessert, it dawned on a few people that I had made (not purchased) this cake). Suffice it to say, this cake is a really good way to make friends and influence people. Great for the end of a Passover meal or for any other time. Makes you wonder why anyone would ever buy one of those tasteless dry boxed cake.
More Passover recipes to come. Stay tuned.
Flourless Chocolate-Orange Almond Cake
Pareve kosher-for-Passover margarine, melted (I used regular butter)
1 1/4 cups whole almonds (6 to 7 ounces)
1 cup sugar, divided
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
6 large eggs, separated
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (I used a tsp of the good Madagascarian extract)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Note: Save yourself some cleaning up by dividing the eggs into the bowls that you'll end up beating them in. Also, when folding batters that have no flour, it takes some patience, but fear not--you'll get there. Don't give up; it does take a bit of time.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush bottom of 10-inch-diameter springform pan generously with margarine. Blend almonds and 1/4 cup sugar in processor until almonds are finely ground. Add chocolate; blend until chocolate is finely ground, scraping sides and bottom of bowl occasionally.
Whisk cocoa, orange juice, and orange peel in small bowl until smooth. Combine egg yolks and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. Using electric mixer, beat until yolk mixture is very thick, about 4 minutes. Beat in cocoa mixture. Fold in ground-almond mixture. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and salt in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar, beating until whites are stiff but not dry. Fold whites into chocolate batter in 3 additions. Transfer to prepared pan.
Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with foil; store at room temperature.)
Cut around cake in pan; release sides. Cut cake into wedges. Transfer to plates. (Did you really need to be told to do that?)