Queen Mother's Cake

Course : Cakes
Serves: 12
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3 tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs -- (for pan)
6 ounces semisweet baking chocolate
1 1/2 cups blanched or unblanched almonds -- toasted
3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs -- (yolks and whites-- separated)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter -- softened
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons powdered instant espresso or coffee
8 ounces semisweet baking chocolate -- coarsely chopped

Preparation / Directions:

1. Place one oven rack one-third up from bottom of oven. Heat to 375 degrees. Coat bottom and sides of a 9-x 3-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom with a round of waxed paper; spray paper. Coat pan with bread crumbs, shaking out excess. 2. Cake: Melt chocolate as directed on package. In food processor, process almonds and 1/4 cup of the sugar until fine and powdery, at least 1 minute. 3. Bring egg whites to room temperature. Beat egg whites, lemon juice, and salt on medium speed until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. Gradually add another 1/4 cup sugar and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted. Don't overbeat. 4. In another large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter until remaining 1/4 cup sugar until creamy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time. On low speed, beat in chocolate, then almond mixture until blended. 5. Stir in a large spoonful egg-white mixture into chocolate mixture; then in 3 additions, fold in remaining whites. Don't fold thoroughly until last addition. Scrape into prepared pan. Level batter by rotating pan briskly from left to right and right to left. 6. Bake 20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted 3 inches from edge of cake comes out with moist crumbs and top looks dry and cracked. Don't overbake; the cake should remain soft and moist in the center. Cool cake completely in pan on a wire rack (middle of cake will sink). 7. Release and remove sides of pan (don't cut around sides with a knife - it will make rim of cake messy). Use a long, thin, sharp knife to cut top level. Brush away loose crumbs. Place 4 waxed paper strips (each about 3 x 12 inches) around top edges of cake. Cover with serving plate and holding pan and plate firmly together, turn both over, making sure paper strips stay under cake all around (to keep plate clean when icing cake). Remove pan bottom and waxed paper liner. 8. Icing: Heat cream in a medium bowl in microwave on High in a 5 to 6-cup saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles form around edge or a thin skin on top. Remove from heat. Stir in espresso powder, then chocolate . Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is blended and smooth. Returning to microwave or low heat if needed. Let stand at room temperature, stirring constantly, 15 minutes or until barely thickened. Stir to mix, then pour slowly over top of cake. Using a narrow metal spatula, smooth top and spread icing so some runs down sides. With spatula, smooth sides. Pull out paper strips. Let stand at room temperature until icing sets, at least 2 hours. Garnish with berries and mint. Serve cake at room temp


Nutritional Information:

224 Calories (kcal); 17g Total Fat; (69% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 138mg Cholesterol; 70mg Sodium

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