Bittersweet Cocoa-Almond Genoise
Posted: 12 April 2009 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Here’s a cake I made to take to a home where they don’t eat wheat, flourless cocoa-almond genoise from TCB.  The frosting is super-stabilized whipped cream.  This cake sinks a bit in the center (even when you bake it properly), so I filled the depression with chocolate shavings.  This cake marks a milestone for me, because the first time I tried to make it, in the first few months that I owned The Cake Bible, it sunk horribly (much more than the 1/4 inch specified in the sidebar).  I’m so glad it worked out this time, I’ve learned so much both from the book and from all of you, thankyou!

The flavor of this cake is wonderful, deep dark chocolate with an undertone of toasted almond.  And the whipped cream is perfect with it.  Next time, I will try to figure out a way to grind the almonds more finely to improve the texture a bit.  They had started to clump in the food processor, so I stopped grinding when they were not yet fine enough for the ideal texture.  Because this is such an unusual cake, I wasn’t sure if it was OK to grind the almonds with the sugar (the directions specify creaming the butter and sugar, then adding the almonds in a later step).  Anyone have any ideas on whether that would be OK?

Looks like I may need to go back to my regular camera, these pics are from a flip video and I haven’t yet figured out how to take good pictures with it!

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Posted: 12 April 2009 05:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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YOur cake looks really good and I love the way you’ve decorated it!

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Posted: 12 April 2009 05:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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JULIE:
  Good sunday afternoon to you. I enjoyed seeing your cake…it looks very well to me. These flourless cakes are very difficult to bake properly because of the weak structure,  hence the dipping in top center.
  Julie, I do not quite understand what you said about the grinding of the nuts in the proc. You used the word ‘With the sugar”.
Did you grind the nuts with part of the recipe sugar????. I ask only because that is the way to grind nuts it is the proper proceedure in order to avoid the nuts from becoming nut butter paste due to possible over grinding.
  Anyway I am certain the cake tasted very well…. it looks well.
  Enjoy the rest of the day what is left of it.

~FRESHKID.

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Posted: 12 April 2009 05:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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It looks soooooo good!!!  kind of looks marshmallowy

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Posted: 12 April 2009 05:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks so much, Jeanette and Ski, for the kind words!

Hello, FreshKid!  This recipe calls for finely ground almonds, but does not give instructions for grinding.  It calls for the sugar to be creamed with the butter and the ground almonds to be added to the mixture in a later step.  After toasting and cooling, I ground them in the food processor (with no sugar).  But I had to take them out of the food processor before they were finely ground because they were starting to give off oil (clump). 

I would like to improve the texture, because I love the flavor.  So, I’m wondering if it would work to grind the almonds with the sugar and use the sugar-almond mixture to cream with the butter?

Or if there are any other tips to get the almonds more finely ground?

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Posted: 12 April 2009 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Wow! Very impressive! I have not tried these recipes yet. 
You did a beautiful job decorating.

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Posted: 12 April 2009 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Looks Delish!  I would have probably ground the nuts with a little sugar, but not all.  I wonder if a spice/coffee mill would have done a better job of grinding the nuts?

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Posted: 13 April 2009 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thanks Tammy!

Patrincia, thanks for your help, I probably need to get another spice grinder, my last one finally died.

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Posted: 13 April 2009 08:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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What a beautiful decorating job! I love seeing your work!

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Posted: 13 April 2009 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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OK, I looked up Maida Heatter’s version of this cake (Rose’s version uses cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate for a lighter texture), and she directs the almonds to be ground with 1/4 cup of the sugar, so maybe I’ll try that next time.  Or get another spice grinder.

Here’s Maida’s recipe:
http://www.caderbooks.com/exmcake.html

Anne, thanks so much, it’s so funny for me to hear people compliment my piping, I always feel like a complete beginner with the pastry bag.  I must say I’m glad that the whole seems to always look better than the parts- none of the rosettes are anywhere near perfect, but put together on the cake they still manage to look nice.

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Posted: 13 April 2009 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Your cake looks absolutely wonderful. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Your piping skills are VERY good.

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Posted: 14 April 2009 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Thanks, Rozanne, I’m glad you like it!

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Posted: 08 November 2009 12:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Julie - 12 April 2009 07:56 PM

Here’s a cake I made to take to a home where they don’t eat wheat, flourless cocoa-almond genoise from TCB…  ...The flavor of this cake is wonderful, deep dark chocolate with an undertone of toasted almond.  And the whipped cream is perfect with it.  Next time, I will try to figure out a way to grind the almonds more finely to improve the texture a bit.  They had started to clump in the food processor, so I stopped grinding when they were not yet fine enough for the ideal texture.  Because this is such an unusual cake, I wasn’t sure if it was OK to grind the almonds with the sugar (the directions specify creaming the butter and sugar, then adding the almonds in a later step).  Anyone have any ideas on whether that would be OK?

  Julie, try toasting the almonds at 350F for 12 min, then when they are cool, add a tsp of cornstarch before food-processing the toasted almonds.  Not only does the toasting make the nuts have a more robust flavor and make them easier to grind to a fine flour (I start with sliced almonds), but the cornstarch aids to keep them from sticking/clumping together and has no adverse effect on how the cake bakes (and still no glutenn US made cornstarch by Argo!)  See: http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/index.php?showtopic=26823 for the reference, link also has FDA link on topic.

HTH, and thanks for suggesting this recipe, it is absolutely wonderful!

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Posted: 08 November 2009 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Tom, thanks for the cornstarch tip!  When I’m partiuclarly motivated, I chop the almonds for a while by hand, then move to the food processor.  I hadn’t been thinking of making this cake this month, but now I’m considering it again.

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Posted: 08 November 2009 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Hi Julie,

Your cake looks beautiful. Congratulations!

Have you read Rose’s suggestion for how to grind almonds on page 430 of TCB? I have success with this method.

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Posted: 08 November 2009 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Beautiful cake, and it looks like you succeeded well even though the almonds might not have been the finest of powder…

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