January 2, 2012

Chocolate Almond Flourless Cake & My "30 for 2012" Recipe Project List


Happy New Year, everyone!  I'm not big on making New Year's resolutions, are you?  I don't really like to make them because then I feel like a failure when I don't follow through ... which is usually the case.  Instead, I like to set up little project goals for myself at the start of the new year ... things I'd like to get to ... but that I won't stress out about if I don't.

Like my "30 for 2012" Project - 30 recipes I've picked out to make in 2012 (click on the link or scroll to the bottom of this post to see the entire list).  Last year my project list included 50 recipes, and I only got through about half of them. So, I decided to scale the list back for this year. Thirty should be doable!

And guess what?!  I've already done one of the recipes on the "30 for 2012" Project list! ... this rich-and-delicious Chocolate Almond Flourless Cake.  I'm so proud of myself for already tackling one of my project goals.

Chocolate flourless cake is one of those desserts that I've always seen on restaurant menus, but had never attempted myself.  I don't know why ... I just hadn't.  So, I decided to put it on "my list" this year. 

One of my other goals this year is to incorporate more whole grain baking into my line-up.  Mark and I switched over to all whole grains in our pastas and other store-bought goods a few years ago, but I haven't really made great strides in incorporating whole grains into my personal baking yet.  So, I've decided this is one of my project goals for this year ... more whole-grain baking ... not a resolution, mind you (remember, I don't make resolutions) ... just a goal.  And since you use finely ground nuts in this cake and no flour, this cake counts as whole grain!

Start this cake by finely grinding some almonds in a food processor.  Or, if you are able to purchase almond meal in your local store, use that.  I totally had some almond meal from Trader Joe's in my freezer and completely forgot about it until after I had already ground up my almonds.  Oh well.
Finely ground almonds serve as the "flour" for this cake

Combine the ground almonds with melted semi-sweet chocolate (yum!), some sugar, egg yolks, sour cream, and a few other things ...
Semi-sweet chocolate & other good stuff

... and then gently fold in some beaten egg whites. 

In go the egg whites ... be gentle

Bake it up in a springform pan, and you'll end up with a rich-and-delicious cake with a texture reminiscent of a light, fluffy brownie.  Mmm, mmm, it's good.  Do be aware though, you'll "feel" the almond pieces when you're eating this. 
Yummy rich chocolate cake

The cake will rise up quite a bit while it's in the oven, but then fall drastically once removed from the heat.  It'll be only about 1 or 2 inches thick once it falls.  It's supposed to be like that.
This is how thick the cake is once it's fallen

Serve up slices with a dusting of powdered sugar, a few fresh raspberries, and a sprinkling of slivered almonds ... and, voila! ... you've got a beautiful dessert all dressed to impress.
An adorned slice
Then dig in!  I dug right in during my photo shoot ... couldn't wait until I was all done staging the pictures.
Digging in during the photo shoot
The photo shoot slice didn't even make it back to the kitchen.
All gone!!

Chocolate Almond Flourless Cake
Source:  Adapted from Prevention Healthy Cooking: Lose Weight the Smart Low-Carb Way's Chocolate Hazelnut Flourless Cake
Ingredients
2 T. butter
3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
1/2 c. almonds, ground (or a little bit less than a 1/2 cup of almond meal)
8 T. sugar, divided
3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 c. reduced-fat sour cream
2 egg yolks
1 T. amaretto
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
5 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. salt
Fresh raspberries, slivered almonds, and powdered sugar for garnish


Directions
1.  Generously coat an 8" or 9" springform pan with about 2 teaspoons of the butter and dust with 1 tablespoon of the cocoa powder.  Do not tap out the excess cocoa powder - leave it in the bottom of of the pan.

2.  In a food processor, process the almonds with 1 tablespoon of the sugar until very finely ground.  (If using almond meal, you can omit this step.  Use just a little bit less than a 1/2 cup of the almond meal.)

3.  In a small saucepan over very low heat, or in the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate and remaining better, stirring occasionally, until smooth.  Remove from heat and place the chocolate mixture in a large mixing bowl.  Add the almond mixture, sour cream, egg yolks, amaretto, vanilla, cinnamon, 5 tablespoons of sugar, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.  Stir until well blended.

4.  In another large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer on high speed to beat the egg whites and salt until foamy.  Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, beating until the egg whites make stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted.

5.  Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten the chocolate batter.  Then, gently fold in the remaining egg whites.  Spoon into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

6.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  The cake is done when it has risen, is dry on the top, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs.  As the cake cools, it will fall to be about 1" to 2" thick.

7.  Loosen the edges of the cake with a knife and remove the springform pan sides.  Serve each slice with a dusting of powdered sugar, a few raspberries, and a sprinkling of slivered almonds.

Enjoy!



Here's my "30 for 2012" Project list... 30 recipes I'd like to make by the end of the year. 

Stay tuned for posts about the ones that turn out okay. And I'll update this list on my "30 for 2012" Project tab with post links as I work through them.


1. Mango Salsa
2. Spinach Cheese Swirls
3. Chocolate Chip "Puffins" (Pumpkin muffins, get it??)
4. Granola
5. Honey-Whole Wheat Biscuits
6. Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Waffles
7. Sourdough Bread (Oh my! This one scares me!!)
8. Caramel-Rum Squares
9. Coffee Thumbprint Cookies
10. Salted Cashew-Crunch Cookies
11. Barefoot Contessa Coconut Cupcakes
12. Neopolitan Cupcakes
13. Persimmon Cupcakes & Frosting (With wild persimmons from my mother-in-law's farm - yum.)
14. Baked Bananas with Rum Sauce
15. Chocolate Almond Flourless Cake
16. Coconut Pie
17. Fudge Pie with Peanut Butter Cookie Crust
18. Maple-Brown Sugar Pudding Cake
19. Shoo Fly Pie
20. Whole Wheat Gingerbread
21. Crab, Shrimp, & Wild Rice Casserole
22. Kiwifruit & Pineapple Marinated Chicken
23. Green Bean, Walnut, & Feta Cheese Salad
24. Mushroom Gouda Chowder
25. Stovetop Chicken Lasagna Soup
26. White Corn & Rosemary Soup
27. Dill Pickles (canned ... I've never canned before. I'm a little bit scared.)
28. Mashed Squash Casserole
29. Sauteed Cabbage
30. Sherried Fruit Bake


This post is linked with Savvy Homemade Monday hosted by Savvy HomeMade A to Z, Market Yourself Monday hosted by Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Blessed by Grace, Tea Party Tuesday hosted by Sweetology, Tasty Tuesday hosted by iBlog4Me, Tuesday Talent Show hosted by Chef in Training, Crazy Sweet Tuesday hosted by Crazy for Crust, Crafty Lassie Tuesday hosted by Sew Stylish Boutique, Wow Me Wednesday hosted by Polka Dots on Parade, Watcha Baking Wednesday hosted by Cajun Sugar Pie, Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party hosted by Mrs. Fox's Sweets, These Chicks Cooked hosted by This Chick Cooks, Cast Party Wednesday hosted by Lady Behind the Curtain, Share Your Creations hosted by Kristen's Creations, It's a Keeper Thursday hosted by It's a Keeper, Friday Favorites hosted by Simply Sweet Home, Foodie Friday hosted by Designs by Gollum, Inspiration Friday hosted by At the Picket Fence, Sweets for a Saturday hosted by Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Weekend Bloggy Reading hosted by Serenity NowShow and Tell Saturday hosted by Be Different ... Act Normal, Sweet Indulgences Sunday hosted by A Well-Seasoned Life, Think Pink Sundays hosted by Flamingo Toes, Sundae Scoop hosted by I {heart} Naptime, Totally Tasty Tuesdays hosted by Mandy's Recipe Box, The Cure for the Common Monday hosted by Lines Across My Face, Mingle Monday hosted by Add a Pinch, BFF Open House hosted by The Answer is Chocolate, Sharing Sundays hosted by Everyday Sisters, This Week's Cravings hosted by Mom's Crazy Cooking.

12 comments:

  1. Mmm - I'm looking for more baked goods that use almonds. Thanks for sharing.

    P.S. I'm not big on resolutions either. I'd love for you to stop by my blog and check it out.

    Thanks!

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  2. Oh I have always wanted to try a flourless cake, this sounds great.

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  3. Yum! I love almonds and chocolate. This cake looks sinful! I'll have to try it sometime. Thanks for sharing on Crazy Sweet Tuesday!

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  4. Looks A-Mazing! I will definitely share with my mom... she is always on the hunt for flourless chocolate cake recipes.

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  5. It just blows my mind this fabulous sweet was made without flour! I am going to have to try making this sometime...YUM! Good luck with your 30 for 2012! I cant wait to see them all! Thanks for sharing at Mrs Foxs Sweet Party :)

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  6. Ok, I'm drooling. Good luck with your 30 for 2012. Off to a great start! I talked about "The Kitchen is My Playground" on my blog today. You're truly an inspiration to me. I read about the Frosting for a Cause and I think it is wonderful. My baby girl had a fight with cancer this year (and a heart defect on top of that). I think it's very thoughtful what you are doing -for that and donating your goodies to the hospice near you.

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  7. Hi- Found you through Sweets for a Saturday and the chocolate almond cake totally captured my attention :) I definitely want to try this one...Thanks for sharing.

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  8. OH wow...that looks so good!

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  9. Lovely recipe! I'm always on the look out for a treat my gluten-free co-workers can indulge in. I'll definitely be adding this one to the list. Best of luck on your goal this year!

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  10. Surprise, surprise... You are featured AGAIN at Savvy HomeMade Monday this week! This cake is BEAUTIFUL and I have been meaning to try more flourless recipes. Thank you for linking up and continuing to inspire!

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I love your comments. I read and appreciate each and every one. Thank you so much for visiting The Kitchen is My Playground! {NOTE: Captcha word verification is on to turn away the 'spambots' ... I apologize for the commenting inconvenience!}

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