Chocolate-Almond Soufflé Cake

From Lou Seibert Pappas.

Chocolate-Almond Soufflé Cake

Yield: 1 9-inch cake; serves 10 to 12

1 1/3 cups (5 ½ ounces) slivered or raw whole almonds

4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

6 large eggs, separated

1/8-teaspoon salt

1/8-teaspoon cream of tartar

2 tablespoons plus 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1-teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon almond extract

½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour, or ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour and ¼ cup almond meal

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.

Scatter the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let cool. Using a food processor or blender, process the chocolate until finely grated. Turn out into a bowl. Process the nuts until finely ground and add to the chocolate.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy, add the salt and cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form. Add the 2 tablespoons brown sugar and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks until thick and pale in color. Beat in the 1 cup brown sugar and the vanilla and almond extracts until thick and pale in color. Stir the flour into the nut and chocolate mixture and fold half of it into the yolk mixture. Fold one-third of the whites in to lighten it. Fold in the remaining nut and chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched lightly. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Remove the sides of the pan and cut the cake into slices to serve.

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