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One of my friend's has celiac disease and cannot eat anything with gluten. Unfortunately for her, this usually means she cannot enjoy a lot of foods, particularly desserts, at gatherings. I made this cake with her in mind for our holiday party. It is rather time-consuming but definately worth it! The cake was rich and decadent and my friends really enjoyed it.
- 1 1⁄4 cups whole almonds (about 6-7 oz.)
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1⁄2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons fresh grated orange peel
- 6 large eggs, seperated
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1 tsp extract)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush bottom of 10-inch springform pan generously with butter or margarine.
- Blend almonds and 1/4 cup sugar in food processor until almonds are finely ground. Add chocolate; blend until chocolate is finely ground.
- Whisk cocoa, orange juice and orange peel in small bowl until smooth.
- In another bowl, combine egg yolks and 1/2 cup + 2 Tbs. sugar. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean.
- Using an electric mixer, beat until yolk mixture is very thick, about 4 minutes.
- Beat in cocoa mixture. Fold in ground-almond mixture.
- Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and salt in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 Tbs. sugar, beating until whites are stiff but not dry.
- Fold whites into chocolate batter in 3 additions. Transfer to prepared pan.
- Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
- Cool cake completely in pan on rack. If making a day ahead of time, cover with foil and store at room temperature.