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Rich Chocolate Almond Cake with Pears & Cream

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Ella Caulier
If you are looking for a delicious winter dessert recipe to make for your friends and family, then this rich, chocolatey, and nutty cake might be the perfect choice. In this Grokker Premium video, Dessert Chef Ella Caulier will share her secrets to creating this deliciously gooey cake, served with poached pear and mascarpone cream.

Cooking Recipe

Servings: 16

Chocolate and almond cake:
1 & 1/2 cups (400g) of 70% dark chocolate
1 & 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup / 180g) of unsalted butter
1 & 1/2 cups (300g) of granulated/caster sugar
1/2 cup (75g) of soft brown sugar
1 & 1/4 cups (180g) of almonds
1/2 cup (50g) of all-purpose/plain flour (sifted)
6 medium eggs separated

Poached pears:
4-6 comice pears peeled
1/2 cup (100g) of granulated/caster sugar
7/8 cup (200ml) of water
1 vanilla pod (cut in half with the seeds scraped out into the pan)

Mascarpone cream:
1 cup (250g) of mascarpone cream
3-5 tbsps double cream to loosen
2 tbsps sifted icing sugar
Zest of half an orange

Chocolate and almond cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C). Lightly grease an 8-inch loose-bottomed (non-stick) cake tin with a few drops of vegetable or sunflower oil. Add a circle of parchment paper to the bottom of the tin.

2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over a bain-marie. This may take 10-15 minutes. Try not to stir the chocolate too much - leave it to melt slowly over a very gentle heat. Once melted, leave to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Add the melted chocolate and butter into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sugars. The mixture should take on a grainy consistency. Then stir in the ground almonds and sifted flour followed by the egg yolks. Make sure that there are no lumps of flour or almonds in the batter. It should be a smooth, heavy mixture.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to a medium peak. Make sure that the whites do not become too stiff and dry otherwise they will be difficult to fold into the base chocolate and almond batter. Fold the whites into the batter, starting with one third to loosen the mixture and then fold in the rest. Transfer the cake mixture into the prepared tin and cook in the oven (middle shelf) for 25 minutes. Once cooked, leave the cake to cool in the tin.

Poached pears:
1. Peel the pears with a peeler trying to keep them as neat as possible. Leave in the stalk.

2. Add the pears to a small-medium saucepan with the water, sugar and the vanilla pod and it€s seeds. Make sure they are quite tightly packed in.

4. Cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for 20 minutes. Turn the pears every 5 to 10 minutes. Depending on how ripe the pears are, they may take more time to cook but should become soft and glossy. You should also be left with delicious sugar syrup, which you can reduce down if you want it to be a bit thicker in consistency.

Mascarpone cream:
1. Add the mascarpone cream, icing sugar, and orange zest to a mixing bowl. Mix together and loosen with the double cream. It should be the consistency of thick whipped cream.

Chocolate Almond Cake
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