I'm sure you know the situation: family members (3 people) have been invited for a holiday dinner, with the promise of "something simple, not like you folks do." Then you let it all go for a couple of days and next thing you know, you pick up murmurings of a quiche for opening nibble, and a brunoise has miraculously appeared in the kitchen ("That's the soup. I'm not sure yet there will be a starter but I might do something yet."), and there is some coordination to pick up the guinea fowl and then somebody (not me) is hunting through recipe books to find the right sauce to go with the veggies. At least, I comfort myself, we have the cakes covered: picking up a Yule log from the local baker's is a safe bet. He makes great cakes, we like 'em. Ganache-covered option for us, of course, we're Belgian.
That was until I bumped about four days ago into a dead link on the newspaper website, for an Almond Chocolate Cake and I said "Oh well, I do have a good recipe for that anyway."
"Oh? You do?" piped up my housemate. Yeah, I do. Somewhere...
Next thing I know, I'm digging in the garage amid the piles of boxes with my stuff from the US, for my handwritten recipe notebook; we're strategising about the egg yolks that are left over from the brunoise; and somehow milk chocolate and dates have appeared in the pantry so resistance is futile: all ingredients are in the house. The almond-chocolate
cake torte (as the recipe calls it) shall exist.
Just one small thing I had forgotten in the 13 or so years since I last made this thing: it's rather dense and even with its innocent measure of a 25cm sandwich tin it will feed the entire Belgian army (if we cut small slices, part of the navy too). How on earth five of us will manage to tackle this thing after an extended dinner and a Yule log is beyond me, but: I was requested to contribute this torte, and I have complied.
On Monday we'll get to try it out, and if it passes muster, I'll share the recipe. Hold on tight!