Saturday, 27 July 2013

Flourless chocolate zebra cake

Rating: Easy
Time: About 1 hour, including decorating
Richness: About 3 treadmills.

 So I decided to put a richness rating, indicating how decadent it actually is or how guilty you should feel eating it ;) As this one was made to take to netball, I figure we all deserve to replace the calories we used on court!

*Edit: Turns out this is amazing when made with Hazlenut meal instead of Almond,  and even more amazing than that if you substitute about 2/3 of the coffee with Frangelico (or something similarly alcoholic and hazlenutty)*

- 1 espresso shot, or 1 teaspoon of instant coffee dissolved in about 50mL of boiling water
- 200g Butter (I used salt-reduced, but not unsalted)
- 220g of dark chocolate (or a whole block close to that weight - I used the 'original' cadbury old gold, as I like that % cocoa, but if you want it darker use a higher % cocoa).
- 250g Almond meal
- 125g Caster sugar
- 4 Eggs, separated
- 25g Cocoa powder

- 150 grams Dark Chocolate
- 200mL Cream
- 50g White Chocolate

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (celcius) and grease a 24cm spring-form tin.

Cut up your butter into pieces, break up the chocolate and place both into a saucepan over medium heat to melt it all together (stir to combine). Once it's all melted, stir in the cocoa powder and coffee. Set aside to cool slightly while you do the rest.

Beat eggwhites to soft-peak, and set aside.

In an electric mixer, combine egg yolks and sugar and beat until thick. Add in the almond meal and beat in the chocolate mix until well combined. At this point mine was very thick and sticky, almost stretchy in appearance.

Take a spoon or two of your egg-whites, and mix into the chocolate batter. Then fold in the remaining egg-whites. Not worrying too much about losing air and just mixing in the first spoonful or two helps thin out the mixture, and makes it easier to fold in the rest. Overall I find my batter is better if I do it this way, but it's up to you :)

Pour mixture into prepared tin, and bake for around 30-40 minutes (mine took closer to 30mins, but it'll depend on your oven). Let it cool in the tin, then you're ready to decorate!

To decorate, take the remaining dark chocolate and melt in either a double boiler or in the microwave. Mix in the cream, it should go thick and glossy. This is a basic chocolate ganache :)
Spread this over the cake, and leave it until set. The more cream you put in, the softer it will set, so adjust to your taste (I actually never measure it, so these quantities may be approximate :P).
Once ganache is set, melt the white chocolate and spread over the cake in stripes.
And you're done! Eat and enjoy :)

You could also substitute hazlenut meal for the almond, I might give that a go next time. I might also make the white chocolate into a ganache as well, so it doesn't end up with soft-ish ganache with hard-set stripes over the top.
But overall? Rich but light, dead easy to make and highly successful!

In a word? Delicious!

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