Sephardic Chocolate and Almond Cake
I've had Chantal Coady's book Real Chocolate on my shelf for almost a year now, but I only began dipping into it recently. What sparked it off was my friend Angie's search for a "baked chocolate mousse cake" recipe, which another friend had made for her. Despite Angie's many pleas, he refused to share the recipe. In my book, such selfishness when it comes to food is simply unacceptable, so I made it my mission to find Angie that recipe, which turned out to be a pretty easy task.
Once she was done describing it, I was pretty sure Angie was referring to the famous River Cafe Chocolate Nemesis. I haven't had the pleasure of tasting the original, but I've heard and read plenty about it. While I don't own a River Cafe cookbook, I remembered seeing the recipe in Real Chocolate. According to Ms Coady -- who owns the celebrated Rococo Chocolates in London and co-founded the Chocolate Society -- she thought the original Chocolate Nemesis to be (while deliciously sublime), a tad too sweet and buttery. So she tweaked the recipe for her book with the blessing of The River Cafe's owners. I am pleased to report that our rendition of Ms Coady's River Cafe Chocolate Nemesis Revisited was a success -- moist, soft, decadently chocolatey, but not too sweet. Unfortunately I didn't have a camera on hand that day and so couldn't take a picture. I'll try to post one next time I make it.
Today, feeling in the mood for chocolate again (oh, alright, I'm always in the mood for chocolate), I decided to attempt Ms Coady's recipe for the Sephardic Chocolate and Almond Cake. A variation of Claudia Roden's recipe, the dense cake is rich with almond meal and the best quality dark chocolate (I used Valrhona 70%, although I think something stronger -- 75% to 80% -- wouldn't be bad either). Dusted with cocoa, it is the perfect, decadent slice of tea cake that will satiate any chocolate craving in a flash.