Prep 40 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
During the 1600s, England commemorated a day called Mothering Sunday, as celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent in honour of the mothers of England. Class structures were abandoned on Mothering Sunday and servants would have the day off from their duties. All were encouraged to return home and spend the day with their mothers. A special cake, called the mothering cake, was often brought along to provide a festive touch for the occasion. This flour-less cake recipe is not for novice bakers, and it is rumored to be the current Queen Mother's favorite chocolate cake. Try it out on your Mum this Mother's Day, as she is your Queen for a Day!
- 1 1⁄2 cups almonds (skinned or toasted)
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 6 ounces sweet unsalted butter
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso or 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
- Toast almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a 350°F degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the almonds are lightly colored and fragrant.
- Make sure to shake the pan occasionally to turn almonds while toasting.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Spray the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with a non-stick cooking spray.
- Dust lightly with flour or, preferably, very fine, dry breadcrumbs.
- Shake out any excess and set prepared pan aside.
- Warm chopped chocolate in the top of a small double boiler over warm water set at moderate heat.
- Cover until partially melted, and then stir until smooth.
- Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Reserve ½ cup sugar and place the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the almonds in a food processor or blender and chop until nuts are fine and powdery; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the butter until soft.
- Add ¼ cup of sugar and reserve the remaining ¼ cup sugar for use later.
- Beat sugar and butter until thoroughly combined.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and continue to beat until smooth.
- Add the melted chocolate and blend on low speed until combined.
- Add almonds and continue to beat mixture on a low speed setting.
- In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with salt and lemon juice.
- Start on low speed and gradually increase until the egg whites hold a soft shape.
- Reduce speed again and add remaining ¼ cup sugar.
- Then on high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture about one-third at a time until blended.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared spring form pan and quickly rotate to level the batter.
- Bake for 20-minutes at 375°F, then reduce heat to 350°F and continue to bake an additional 50-minutes.
- Remove cake from pan when cooled, after about 1 hour.
- Scald the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until a thin skin forms on the top.
- Add the espresso or coffee powder and whisk to dissolve.
- Add the chocolate and whisk to dissolve, for about a minute or two.
- Remove from heat and continue to stir to finish melting the chocolate.
- Let icing cool for about 15 minutes, and then pour over the top of the cake, starting at the center.
- Gently push the icing with a spatula over the sides to dribble down the cake.
- Top with shaved chocolate or whipped cream just prior to serving.
- A fresh strawberry is an optional garnish with each served slice.
This is a fantastic cake. It used to be on the menu at Puck's Ma Maison, decades ago, but it was adapted for him by Maida Heatter back in 1962, and originally appeared in her _Book of Great Desserts_ in 1974.
My Mom used to make this one. It is great.