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Chocolate Almond Cake with Roasted Rhubarb

Food

Another total crowd pleaser from Julia Busuttil of OSTRO today!  Julia’s chocolate almond cake is in all honesty the most delicious chocolate cake I have tasted.  It is so rich and fudgy but not too sweet – and perfectly paired with the tart, juicy roasted rhubarbs.  Oh and it’s gluten free, too! – Lucy

 

20th May, 2014

Chocolate Almond Cake ingredients. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull for The Design Files.

Chocolate Almond Cake with Roasted Rhubarb Julia Busuttil. Enamelware Cake Stand from Third Drawer Down, ceramics vessels stylist’s own. No 14 Vienna Chair from Thonet. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull for The Design Files.

A serve of the delicious Chocolate Almond Cake with Roasted Rhubarb Julia Busuttil. Ceramic Plate and Oslo Copper Pink Tableware Spoon from Third Drawer Down. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull for The Design Files.

Chocolate Almond Cake with Roasted Rhubarb Julia Busuttil. Enamelware Cup, Ceramic Plate and Oslo Copper Pink Tableware Spoon from Third Drawer Down. No 14 Vienna Chair from Thonet. Photo – Eve Wilson, Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull for The Design Files.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Ostro
Tuesday 20th May 2014

This is one of my favourite cakes to make and is a real crowd pleaser. Once the chocolate has been melted, and the whites whipped, it is super easy too, and really takes no time at all. You can even use already ground almonds if you’re in a hurry.

I used to eat a similar cake when I lived in Italy. It was sold in thin slices and sat on a marble bench top in the window of the cutest little cake shop at the end of my street. I would often pick up a slice on my way home from school and eat it for breakfast with an espresso the following morning!

The richness and fudgy texture of this chocolate almond cake is simply dreamy, and paired with the fragrant rhubarb, things get even better. Try and buy the best dark chocolate you can afford – it makes all the difference and really is the hero of the cake. I use unsweetened cocoa powder to dust the cake, which should be done just before serving. Depending on what’s in season, you can exchange the rhubarb for fresh berries, poached pears, or even a citrus salad.

INGREDIENTS

For the cake

  • 180g chocolate (70%)
  • 150g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1tbsp Amaretto
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 180g blanched almonds
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped, and pod reserved for rhubarb
  • Pinch of salt

For the Rhubarb

  • 1 bunch rhubarb, trimmed, leaves, and ends discarded
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 reserved vanilla pod
  • ½ orange, juice, and zest

To serve

  • Crème fraîche
  • Cocoa powder

METHOD

For the cake

Preheat the oven to 150C. Grease and line a 20cm round tin.

Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a heatproof bowl with the butter and amaretto. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Once the chocolate and butter is melted, remove from heat and stir to combine. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl beat the sugar, 5 egg yolks, and 2 whole eggs until the mixture is pale, thick, and glossy.

In a food processor, grind the blanched almonds. I prefer the almonds coarsely ground to give the cake a lovely texture, but finely ground works equally as well and will just give the cake a more refined texture.

Gently fold the ground almonds, cocoa powder, and seeds of the vanilla bean into the egg and sugar mixture. Add the melted chocolate mixture and stir until all combined.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture a little at a time. The chocolate mixture will be quite heavy but try to be as gentle as possible.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until just cooked. Leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out.

Dust the cake lightly with cocoa powder and serve with the roasted rhubarb and a dollop of crème fraîche.

For the Rhubarb

Cut the rhubarb into lengths of 8cm and place in non-reactive bowl with the other ingredients. Mix to coat the rhubarb and allow sit for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C.

Lay rhubarb in a baking tray and cover with tin foil. Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until just tender. It’s a fine line between perfectly cooked rhubarb and mushy rhubarb, so keep an eye on it!

Allow to cool before serving.

HUGE THANKS Julia Busuttil of OSTRO for sharing her amazing sweet recipes with us this month, and to Eve Wilson for the gorgeous shots!  

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