So: here's the recipe, scroll further down for the blabla story that other blogs put before the repice. I personally prefer the reverse: tell me how to do it, then tell me why this dish matters to you. 己所不欲勿施於人 as Confucius said. (Do not do to others as you wouldn't have done to yourself.1 )
Grab a 25 cm/10inch sandwich tin (I use one with a removable bottom), and a few mixing bowls, then gather the following ingredients, and follow the instructions below:
- 175g (6oz) unsalted butter
- 250g (9oz) good quality milk chocolate. For my US-based friends: Trader Joe's Imported Belgian Chocolate is excellent, I personally vouch for it.
- 3 whole eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 125g (4oz) light brown sugar
- 175g (6oz) ground almonds
- 100g (3 1/2oz) whole almonds crushed
- 150g (5oz) medjool dates (or poach ordinary dates in water and sugar for ± 3 mins), cut in small pieces
- Grease the sandwich tin, and line the base with a circle of grease-proof paper
- Preheat the oven to 170C (325F, gas mark 3)
- Melt butter and chocolate together au bain-marie or in microwave
- Beat the whole three eggs with egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale and thick.
- Add the ground almonds, the crushed almonds and the dates to that mixture, combine well
- Incorporate the butter and chocolate mixture
- Pour everything into the sandwich tin and bake for about 50 mins. (I needed to add another 15mins, but our oven is geriatric and temperamental)
- Leave to cool before turning out
- Decorate with an icing sugar pattern right before serving, if you fancy
On Christmas day we had not prepared the quiche that was murmured about – that one had fallen by the wayside. Just as well, so there was a small pie-shaped hole still available for our guests to try out this gateau. (I know I called it a torte in that previous post but to err is human.) Everyone enjoyed it, after all the other delights we served – including a gorgeous Yule log. Just look at that picture!
Anyways: it's still as good as I remember, and it reminded me of a very thick brownie with added pizzazz: ever so slightly crunchy on top, moist and substantially chocolatey on the inside, and almond flavour everywhere. My cousin compared it to frangipane but with chocolate, and that's the almonds talking.
This thing was so delish we even saved the crumbs from my clumsy cutting effort for the next day. (Tip: use a sharp knife and a decisive cut.) The Belgian Army didn't show up, neither did the Navy, to help us out, so we hid the rest of the cake in the freezer, because there was serious temptation to eat all the leftovers in one go and that might not have ended well. We're now slowly munching our way through it one piece at a time. We're tempted by cake, not by new year's resolutions here!