flourless chocolate and almond cake

Chocolate and almonds are a classic combination, but this crunchy topping with a soft-set sponge makes for a truly beautiful cake. It is made upside down and the moment of truth comes when the cake is flipped over to reveal the sticky-toffee almond underbelly.

serves 8

85g, flaked almonds
50g butter
50g golden caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
A good pinch of salt
180g dark chocolate
250g butter
6 eggs
175g sugar
100g ground almonds
Crème fraîche (to serve)

Heat the oven to 180C, then grease and line a deep 23cm round cake tin with parchment.

Toast the almonds in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and set aside, then turn the oven down to 170C.

Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Once it's bubbling, sprinkle over the sugar and add the golden syrup with a pinch of sea salt. Whisk together and cook for 2-3 minutes, until it has thickened. Carefully remove the pan from the heat and pour the caramel over the bottom of the tin. Use a spatula to spread it over the base while it's hot, then scatter over the flaked almonds and set aside.

Put a pan on the heat with a little water and set a heatproof bowl over it. Break up the chocolate and melt with the butter in the bowl. While they're melting, beat the eggs and sugar -together until pale and fluffy. Stir in the melted chocolate, then fold in the ground almonds.

Tip the batter into the tin and bake for 45-50 minutes. Use a skewer to check that it's baked through and leave it to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and carefully peel back the parchment. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing. Best served with a good spoonful of creme fraiche.

top tip
Carefully weigh everything up the night before to save toing and froing back to the scales, which is time-consuming and can lead to mistakes.

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