2 tsp instant coffee powder
10 oz butter
12 oz dark chocolate
4 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp brandy or cognac
1/4 cup boiling water
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
for Yolks
1/2 cup sugar
for Whites
8 each eggs
2 1/2 cups almond meal (ground almonds)
whisked to break up clumps
cocoa powder and powdered sugar
for dusting
  • bain marie
Preheat oven to 150F convection. Grease pan. Line base and side with parchment paper.
Place coffee powder and boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Stir to dissolve. Place butter, chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla, liqueur and coffee mixture in a bain marie over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until melted and combined. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl to cool slightly.
Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks, salt and sugar for 5 minutes or until thick and in ribbon stage. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form and you can gradually add the other ½ cup of sugar and continue beating them until they hold firm peaks. DO NOT OVERBEAT. They should have the texture of soft shaving cream.
Add chocolate mixture and almond meal to egg yolk mixture. Stir to combine. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold half the egg whites into chocolate mixture. This is to temper the dense mix before folding in the rest of the egg white. Fold gently so that the whites don’t get deflated. Repeat with remaining egg whites.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool cake completely in pan.
To Serve
Dust with cocoa or powdered sugar.
Makes 1 half-sheet hotel pan or 2 9-inch cakes