Individual Chocolate Almond Tortes

By Mary McCartney From the book At My Table
Individual Chocolate Almond Tortes

The pairing of the bitter dark chocolate with the smooth ground almonds is seductive. When you bite into the centre of a torte, you get a soft, melting and delicious mouthful. By using ground almonds instead of flour, you have a gluten-free dessert that is easy to make but never fails to impress. The tortes can be kept unbaked in the fridge for 1–2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. If frozen, allow 30 minutes to defrost before baking.

 

For how many? Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 100g salted butter, plus more for greasing the ramekins
  • cocoa powder, for dusting the ramekins
  • 100g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), broken into even-sized chunks
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 40g ground almonds or pistachios (can be ground in food processor)
  • 40g caster sugar

Instructions

You will need: 2 ramekins

Preheat your oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease two ramekins with butter and dust with cocoa powder.

Melt the 100g of butter and dark chocolate together by warming the butter in a small pan over a very low heat and then adding the chocolate chunks, stirring often, until the chocolate has just dissolved. Make sure the melting chocolate doesn’t cook for too long; if it overheats it will go grainy instead of smooth. Take off the heat and transfer the chocolate sauce to a medium mixing bowl. Allow it to cool slightly for about 5 minutes.

Mix the egg yolks into the cooled chocolate mixture. Add the ground almonds and sugar and beat together.

Then, in a separate, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with a clean whisk until they form soft peaks. Gently fold the whisked egg whites into the chocolate mix.

Divide the chocolate mixture evenly between the ramekins and bake for 12 minutes, until the tops are just springy to the touch. You want the centres to be gooey, so be careful not to overcook them. Wearing oven gloves to protect your hands, remove the ramekins from the oven and gently tip them upside down to pop the tortes out onto your serving dish.

You can eat these tortes as they are, but I love them with a few fresh raspberries or strawberries and a spoonful of vanilla ice cream or cream. (Or you can leave them, uncooked, to chill in the fridge until ready to bake. It’s at this point that you can also freeze the tortes.)

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