CHOCOLATE-ALMOND TORTA

12 oz. dark chocolate, mildly sweet

1 C unsalted butter (2 sticks)

1/4 C cocoa powder

1 T almond extract

1 1/4 C granulated sugar

1  3/4 C ground blanched and toasted almonds  (I recommend buying the almonds already blanched)

6 eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 310 degrees.  Spray a 9 – inch spring form pan with Pam for baking.  Slowly melt the chocolate and butter over a double-boiler.  With a mixer, mix together the melted chocolate mixture, cocoa powder, almond extract and sugar until combined.  Add the ground almonds and mix until combined.  Add the eggs, one at a time, adding each egg after the first has been incorporated into the mixture.  Pour the batter into the spring form pan.  Make sure the mixture is level and smooth on top.  Bake 50-60 minutes.  Cool and serve with chocolate spirals, or shavings, dust with powdered sugar (I topped with piped whipped cream and sprinkled sliced almonds).  Great served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

GROUND IN YOUR FOOD PROCESSOR

Note on Blanched Almonds:

I recommend you buy the almonds already blanched if  you can, this will make this cake much easier!!  But just in case you can’t find them or prefer to blanch them yourself, here’s how:

~Place almonds in bowl

~poor boiling water to barely cover almonds

~let the almonds sit for 1 minute and no longer

~drain, rince under cold water, and drain again

~pat dry and put on clean kitchen towel, and rub off the skins

Note:  Don’t let almonds sit in hot water too long or they will lose their crispness.

How to Toast Almonds:

Place almonds in a heavy, ungreased skillet, stir often over medium heat until golden brown.  Do not leave unattended, they will burn fast!

Makes a great, delicious special birthday cake!

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