For those of you who know it, this is a simplified and gluten free version of the luciously chocolatey Alhambra cake. Essentially a fluffy sponge with a velvety ganache; the original génoise is a hazelnut sachertorte. Now for a little history: the sachertorte is one of the most famous Viennese specialities, created by apprentice Franz Sacher for the Prince Wenzel von Metternich in 1832. Evidently it was so deliciously decadent that to this day it is still hugely popular.
(Real version made at school looks like this:)
I made my simplified version with ground almonds instead of ground hazelnuts since they are easier to come by. Here is the recipe :
For the sponge :
55g ground almonds
40g all purpose gluten free flour
1 pinch xanthan gum
40g cocoa powder
135g unsalted butter
110g caster sugar
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
60g caster sugar
For the imbibage (soaking syrup) :
2g coffee extract
300ml double cream
300g dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 165 degrees and butter and flour the mould.
Sieve the almonds, flour and cocoa powder in a bowl.
Cream the butter (beat it until smooth and soft). Add the 110g of sugar and beat in until well combined. Gradually add the egg yolks.
With the whites and the 60g of sugar, make a French meringue: begin by beating the whites in a dry, fat free bowl. Gradually add the sugar as you whisk, until the meringue forms medium peaks.
Roughly divide the meringue into 4 and the dries into 3. Fold jn 1/4 of the meringue in the creamed butter and yolks mix. Then fold through 1/3 of the dries. Repeat, alternating meringue and dries, finishing with the meringue.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pastry case and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
Then prepare the imbibage: make a sugar syrup with the water and sugar: bring them to a boil in a pot until the sugar is dissolved. Then add the coffee extract.
For the ganache, steam the cream and melt the chocolate in a bowl over a water bath. Off the heat, add the cream in 3 inclusions into the chocolate. Then leave aside to cool.
When the cake is ready, cut in half horizontally, and brush your imbibage in the inside of each layer, until soaked up and moist when you press down. This will prevent the cake from getting dry. Then, spread the ganache on the bottom layer and replace the top. Voilà! Your cake is done!