Chocolate and Almond Tiger Cake
This almond cake is based on financiers, the small, usually ingot-shaped cakes first made in Paris in the late 1880s. The pastry chef Lasne created and named them for his stockbroker clients, keeping them easy and neat to eat on the run — no fuss, no muss. Made with egg whites, ground nuts and a lot of melted butter, the recipe is invitingly riffable. My favorite take is the tigré, a round, chocolate-speckled cake topped with a dab of ganache. Years ago, I misread the name, and I’ve called them tiger cakes ever since. My play on the tiger is a large cake, a little less rich than the original, run through with chopped chocolate and covered with enough ganache to leave telltale smudges. Stockbrokers beware.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 5tablespoons/70 grams unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
- ½cup/65 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
- ¾cup/150 grams granulated sugar
- ½teaspoon baking powder
- ¼teaspoon baking soda
- ¼teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅔cup/70 grams almond flour
- 6large egg whites, at room temperature and lightly whisked
- 1teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 5ounces/142 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ⅓cup/80 milliliters heavy cream
- 3ounces/85 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ½cup/48 grams sliced almonds, toasted
Step 1Make the cake: Center a rack in the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan and fit a circle of parchment paper at the base.
Step 2Bring the butter just to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Turn off the heat and leave the saucepan on the burner to keep the butter warm while you make the cake batter.
Step 3In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until thoroughly blended. Add the almond flour and whisk. If the almond flour is lumpy, use your fingers to break up the clumps. Switch to a spatula and add the egg whites in 3 additions, stirring until the batter is smooth and easily flows off the spatula. Stir in the vanilla until incorporated. Add the butter in 3 additions, folding until it is completely incorporated and you’ve got a smooth batter with a light sheen. Stir in the chopped chocolate, mixing well. Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly.
Step 4Bake until golden brown, evenly risen and pulling away from the sides of the pan, 37 to 40 minutes. A tester inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and leave for 5 minutes. Run a table knife around the sides of the pan, flip the cake over, remove the pan, peel away the parchment and invert the cake onto another rack. Allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving or covering with ganache.
Step 5If you’d like, make the topping: Put the cream in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate. Gently stir the chocolate and cream together until blended, thick and shiny. Pour the ganache over the top of the cake and use an offset spatula or kitchen knife to spread it across the cake. Scatter over the toasted almonds. Either leave the cake on the counter to allow the ganache to set a bit (it will never be really firm) or refrigerate the cake for 15 minutes to set the chocolate. The cake is best at room temperature. Covered, it will keep for about 3 days at room temperature.