This rich, almost flourless, one layer chocolate cake is flavoured with whiskey. I strongly recommend a none peated, slightly strong, sweet whiskey such as: Jack Daniels; Jameson; Grace O’Malley; Slane; or the one I used, Glenmorangie Coffee. Almost a sin, I know, but the whiskey/coffee flavour was amazing. For those of you who cook, you will recognize this as a deviation of the famous Reine de Saba cake. Because Julia Child was an amazing human and exacting chef. I am eternally grateful for her guidance and diligence.
- 6 ounces or 170grms semi sweet chocolate (I used Callebaut chips. Best if using European chocolate as the American chocolate doesn’t have as much melting capacity).
- 1 tablespoon or 15ml butter
- 1/4 cup or 60ml whiskey plus more to keep the chocolate smooth
- 1/2 cup or 110gms butter room temperature
- 1/2 or 65gms cup golden caster sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- 2 teaspoons or 10ml vanilla extract
- pinch cream of tartar or fine salt
- 2 tablespoons or 25gms confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup or 65gms almond flour or finely ground almonds
- 1/4 teaspoon or dash almond extract
- 1/3 cup or 40gms plain cake flour
For the frosting
- 4 ounces or 113gms semi sweet chocolate. European chocolate such as Callebaut
- 1/2 cup or 110gms butter
- 1/4 cup or 60ml whiskey
Preheat oven to 180 Celcius or 350 F. Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until peaks form. Add the powered sugar and beat until stiff. Set aside.
Cream the butter then add sugar and beat until soft and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, almond extract and vanilla.
In a double boiler add the chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter. The water should be hot but not boiling. Once the chocolate starts to melt add the whiskey and stir ingredients until smooth and blended. Careful with this part, the chocolate can quickly seize if too warm. Feel free to add more whiskey to keep smooth. One may also add a splash of dark coffee if one likes. The none alcoholic version calls for coffee only.
Immediately fold the chocolate whiskey mixture into the egg yolk butter batter. Slowly add the almond flour until blended. Add half the beaten egg whites with the plain cake flour until blended. Gently fold in the rest of the beaten egg whites.
Prepare a 24 centimeter or 9 to 9 1/2 inch cake pan. I cut a circle of parchment paper, butter the pan, then lay down the paper and add a little more butter over that.
Pour in the batter and tap the pan until the batter is settled. Place in the middle rack of your preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Since this is a French style cake, do NOT use the clean toothpick trick in the center. The center of the cake should move just a smidge and be a little damp. A toothpick inserted into the edge may come back clean. If overbaked, the cake comes out too dry. Cool in pan so the cake is just warm, then unmold and place on a plate. Poke some small holes in the top of the cake.
In the same double boiler you may make add the chocolate, butter and whiskey for your frosting. Feel free to add a smidge more whiskey so the frosting is smooth. When melted, pour some of the frosting directly onto the cooled cake. Let the cake absorb a bit of the frosting. Wait until the frosting cools a little more (place the bottom of the pan into cold ice water to quicken the process). Then pour more of the frosting directly onto the cake until completely covered. I usually have to use a spatula or cake tool to smooth the frosting around the sides of the cake.
Decorate the top with flowers, berries, cut out chocolate designs or just leave the smooth frosted top. This is a rich dessert so serve thin slices.
Best with a dollop of whiskey infused whipped cream! :)