this is one of my favorite cake recipes... its from julia child's mastering the art of french cooking.
you can't go wrong there, can you??
one thing thoug, this recipe doesnt call for any baking powder, so the lightness of the cake depends on perfectly beaten egg whites! it might take a few minutes to get right, but the effort is SO worth it!
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES F
a round cake pan 8 inches in diameter
4 ounces of semi sweet cooking chocolate
2 tb coffee
butter and flour the cake pan. set the chocolate and coffee in a small pan, cover and place (off heat) in a larger pan of almost simmering water. let melt while you proceed with the recipe. measure out the rest of the ingredients.
1/4 pound butter-softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture.
3 egg yolks
beat in the egg yolks until well blended.
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 tb granulated sugar
beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed (use a balloon whip); sprinkle on the sugar and beat in until stiff peaks are formed.
1/3 cup pulverized almonds
1/2 cup flour
with a rubber spatula blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in the almonds. immediately stir in 1/4th of the beaten egg whites to lighten the batter. delicately fold in a third of the remaining whites and when partially blended, sift on 1/3rd f the flour and continue folding. alternate rapidly with mroe egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are incorporated.
turn the batter into the cake pan, pushing the batter upto its rim with a rubber spatula.
bake in middle level of preheated oven for about 25 minutes.
cake is done when it has puffed and 2 1/2 to 3 inches around the circumference are set so that a needle plunged into the area comes out clean; the centre should move slightly when the pan is shaken and the needle comes out oily.
allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. run a knife around the edge of the pan and reverse cake on a cake rack. allow it to cool for an hour or 2; it must be thoroughly cold if it is to be iced.
p.s:this tastes much better the next day. also, when you pulverize the almonds in the mixer, add a tsp of sugar to prevent the almonds from clumping together.