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Another Recipe Kitchen Tested by the Party Saviors

Mother's Cake

CATEGORY: Dessert - Cakes
A flourless cake (dense and moist) for serious cake lovers and cake makers.  This cake takes time to make, but well worth it. 
motherscake2
SERVINGS:  12
PREP TIME: 2 hours
COOK TIME: 1 hour 50 minutes
INGREDIENTS

Cake:

6 ounces blanched (recommended) or unblanched almonds

6 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

non-stick cooking spray

Fine dry bread crumbs (crush with rolling pin to make finer, if necessary)

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup granulated sugar

6 eggs, separated (you'll need both the yolks and the whites)

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Icing:

1/2 cup whipping cream

2 teaspoons powdered instant espresso

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

DIRECTIONS
  1. Cake:  Preheat oven to 350°F,
  2. In a shallow pan, toast the almonds in a single layer for 12-15 minutes, shaking the pan a few times until the almonds are lightly colored and have an aromatic smell of toasted almonds when you open the oven door.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Reset oven temperature to 375°F.  Adjust the rack to just below center in the oven.  Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 by 3 inch springform pan.  Cut parchment paper into a round and line bottom of pan.  Spray the parchment paper.  Dust the pan all over (bottom and sides) with fine, dry bread crumbs.  Turn pan upside down, tap sides gently and shake out excess bread crumbs.  Set pan aside.
  4. Place cooled almonds and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor fitted with metal chopping blade.  Process until nuts are very fine.  You may need to scrape down the sides of the processor several times.  The finer the nuts the better.
  5. Place the chocolate in the top of a small double boiler over warm water on medium-low heat.  Cover pan and let set for several minutes until chocolate is partially melted.  Remove lid, stir chocolate until smooth; remove from heat and set aside until chocolate is tepid.
  6. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft.  Add in 1/4 cup of the sugar and mix until incorporated.  Add in the egg yolks one at a time, beating and scraping the side of the bowl, until smooth.  Turn mixer to low speed, add the chocolate and beat until mixed.  Add the almonds and mix until incorporated. 
  7. In a separate large bowl, beat the egg whites with 1/8 teaspoon salt and lemon juice, starting on low speed and gradually increasing the speed to medium high.  When the egg whites hold a soft shape, reduce the speed and add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar.  Return mixer to medium high speed and continue to beat until the whites hold a straight point.
  8. Add a large spoonful of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, carefully mixing to soften chocolate mixture.  In 3 portions, fold in 2 portions (one at a time) careful not to fold in thoroughly.  Gently fold in the 3rd and last portion incorporating fully, but be careful not to handle more than necessary.  Gentle turn the mixture into the prepared springform pan.  Rotate the pan by briskly rotating from left to right to level the batter.  Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F.  Continue baking for up to 50 minutes (after 20 minutes watch closely).  Do not overbake; the cake may crack on top, but should remain soft and moist when tested in the center).  Wet and lightly wring out a towel, place on counter.  Remove cake from oven, place on towel and let stand until cooled, about 50-60 minutes. 
  9. Release and remove the side of the pan (do not cut around edges).  Let the cake stand until it is completely cooled.  While cooling it may sink in the middle a little, in which case you can use a knife to cut the top edges to make the cake level.  Brush away any loose crumbs.  Place a rack or board over the cake and carefully invert.  Remove the bottom of the springform pan and the parchment paper lining.  Place 4 strips of parchment paper (3" x 12") around the edges of a cake or serving plate.  Using a large spatula, carefully transfer the cake to the plate positioning it over all four strips of parchment paper used for keeping the icing off the plate.
  10.   Icing:  Scald the cream in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat until it begins to form small bubbles around the edges.  Add the dry espresso and whisk to dissolve.  Add the chocolate and stir over heat for 1 minute.  Remove the pan from the heat and whisk until the chocolate is all melted and the mixture is smooth.  Let the icing stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the icing barely begins to thicken.  Pour the icing slowly into the middle of the top of the cake,  Use a long, narrow metal spatula to smooth the top and spread the icing so that it runs gently down the sides (not too much).  Smooth the icing on side of the cake with the spatula.  Carefully remove the 4 strips of parchment paper from under the cake.
  11.   Optional:  Serve with a dollop of whipping cream or with ice cream.