First of all this, in my opinion, is definitely of the ‘special occasion cake’ category. It might not look like much, but the fact that the chocolate that it uses cost £5 alone and the amount of toil that it took to construct it, I will not be making it on a regular basis. What with the grating of chocolate and the whisking of egg whites, I’m lucky I haven’t ended up with the forearms of Rafa Nadal.
We were having 4 guests this weekend: Rob’s brother (whose birthday it was) his fiancé Sophie, his friend Simon, and his and Rob’s Mum (Mummo). Perfect excuse for baking a cake!
*TOP TIP* always coordinate with other possible cake makers on occasions like this. it’s not a problem if you end up with 3 cakes (as we did) but can be embarrassing if two of them are chocolate cakes. The moral of this story – you can never have enough cake, but variety is the spice of life.
So we ended up with 2 chocolate cakes – Mummo’s excellent milk chocolate cake which we’re always lucky to have, and my dark chocolate and almond cake (coincidentally from the Delia book that Mummo got me for Christmas). They went down pretty well anyway…
Delia’s chocolate and almond cake is quite delicious – the almonds give it a lovely moist texture and the grated chocolate that runs through it gives it a lovely rich and evenly spread chocolaty flavour. The recipe specifies to use minimum 70% cocoa solids dark choc which worked great in the cake itself, but I actually found it made the topping quite bitter so I diluted it with extra crème fraiche and a bit of unrefined icing sugar which actually gave it a nice gloss when combined. Next time, I might even be so bold as to use half milk and half dark chocolate for a little more sweetness.
Other advice if you want to make this cake: grate the chocolate in advance. The grating of the chocolate caused a great deal of stress in our kitchen. Rob and I took it in turns but it was a long and arduous task. If possible, I’d suggest grating in a food processor if you have that luxury; using a micro-grater was quite exhausting!
Apologies once again for the fact that this recipe link is from the Daily Mail, but it is the authentic Delia recipe and saves me typing it out 🙂 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2286479/Delias-cakes-II-Grated-chocolate-almond-cake.html
And sorry Adam for all the chocolate cake – you look as though you had a job working out which candles to extinguish first 🙂