For a toddler turning three,the pure chocolate cake was perfect to celebrate the special day and also accomplishing to his mom ,who shares the same chocolate passion.
His adventures seem to have gotten even more advanced since he was two.Jumping on the bed,fetching his favorite food from the refrigerator or kitchen counter,sliding down the stairs,wrestling with his big brother,examining all the closets and drawers,gladly after all that exploring, running and jumping around the house,he does settle for quite time reading and imaginative play. Considering his liking for an equally adventurous species in one his favorite books "Five little monkeys Jumping on the bed",I guess he got the most appropriate gift for this special day,the five little monkeys board game,and thankfully the imaginative toy kept him busy for most part of his special day.
What's so special about this chocolate cake? for one,this is mostly chocolate at its best,secondly the joy of almonds and finally its low in sugar ,free of any additives or preservatives.There was one mishap though ,the meringue did not keep tall due to less sugar used.Otherwise the taste was absolutely chocolatey despite changes to lower the calories.My trick here to keep the cake moist sans the extra fat,use some fruit puree instead.
Recipe : Chocolate Almond Meringue Cake with Dark chocolate Filling ,adapted from Tish Boyle and Timothy Moriarty's Chocolate Passion.
For Chocolate Almond Meringue Cake
4 Tablespoons unsweetened nonalkalized Cocoa powder
1/3 cup hot water
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon unsalted butter(softened) or pure ghee
1/2 cup apple puree
1/4 cup reduced fat milk
1/2 cup dark brown sugar or 1/4 cup agave nectar
4 large Organic eggs,separated
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract(alcohol-free)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds
For rich Chocolate Filling
7 ounces bitter sweet chocolate,finely chopped(or use the chips)
3/4 cup Organic whole milk
Make the Dark Chocolate Filling
Place the chopped chocolate in medium heatproof bowl.Bring the milk to a gentle boil in a small saucepan,pour the hot milk over the chopped chocolate,let stand for 3 minutes to melt the chocolate.Stir gently until the mixture is well blended and smooth.Cover and set it aside to cool for an hour until it has the consistency of frosting.
Make the Chocolate almond meringue cake
1.Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350F.Lightly butter the bottom of two 9-inch baking pans.Line the bottoms with parchment rounds.
2.In a small bowl,whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth.Set aside to cool.
3.In a medium bowl,using a wire whisk,stir together the flour,ground almonds,baking powder,baking soda and salt until well blended.
4.In another large bowl,using a whisk beat the butter,3 tablespoon of sugar until light and fluffy.Add the egg yolks,one at a time,beating well after each addition.Beat in vanilla and almond extracts.
5.In to this wet mixture now combine the dry ingredients one-half at a time,alternating them with the cocoa mixture.Divide the batter evenly between the prepared baking pans.
6.In a clean,grease free glass bowl,beat the egg whites and the remaining 2 tablespoon of dark brown sugar until the mixture looks creamy ,continue beating until the egg white mixture forms a stiff,shiny meringue.Takes about 5-6 minutes.
7.Using a small spatula,swirl the meringue over the cake batter in the pans,making sure that meringue completely covers the batter and extends to the sides of the pans.Evenly distribute the sliced almonds over the meringue.
8.Bake the cakes until the meringue is puffed up and lightly browned about 25-30 minutes.Run the tip of a sharp knife between the edge of the meringue and the sides of the cake pans to loosen the cakes.Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Assemble the cake
When the cakes are cooled completely,peel off the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake and immediately invert the cake on to a serving platter;the meringue side will be facing up.Spoon the chocolate filling on top of the meringue.Spread it out evenly.Do the same for the other cake from the pan,place over the chocolate filling,meringue side up.
The Cake is my entry for Divya Kudua's Best Chocolate Cake Event