Sure, I could go ahead and pretend that this recipe was suppose to yield a chocolate-chip cake of sorts. I could alter some of the directions to make it seem like it turned out perfectly, but then what would be the fun of sharing these baking experiences? I feel like this area of the culinary world is something that is an ever-learning one, so why not share the fails as well as the triumphs?
Ha, I sound so dramatic. :)
But this recipe's little whoopsie didn't really ruin anything; it just changed the texture, really. What happened was I had put the mixing bowl and the beaters in the freezer, which I do every time I'm going to whip some cream because it comes together much quicker than when everything is room temperature. (One of the things that's interesting about this recipe is the whipped cream replaces the shortening/butter, which I hadn't encountered in a cake recipe before.)
Anyway, what I didn't think about, though, was moving the whipped cream to a room temp bowl before I added the melted chocolate. Since the bowl is stainless steel, it was still quite cold when I did, so the chocolate seized up and thus we have chocolate-chip almond torte, instead of just chocolate. Whoopsie.
The other (and purposeful) change I made was tinting the whipped cream filling a very light pink to entice you to make it for Valentine's Day, which wouldn't be a bad idea. The cake is very light and fluffy, as is the filling, and the almond extract comes through just strong enough to give everything a subtly nutty flavor. Add some strawberries and it's a fairly guilt-free end to a lovely day. :)
Chocolate (Chip) Almond Torte
Courtesy of Betty Crocker's Hostess Cookbook, 1967
Yields one four-layer, 8- or 9-inch torte
For the Cake:
1 2/3 cups whipping cream
3 eggs, well beaten
3 squares (3 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Filling:
2 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
Chocolate shot (or, in our language today, chocolate sprinkles)
Blanched almonds (I left these off and just covered the whole top with sprinkles)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two round layer pans, 8 or 9 inches.
Whip 1 2/3 cups whipping cream until stiff. Fold in eggs, chocolate and 1 teaspoon almond extract. Stir together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt; fold gently into cream-egg mixture until blended and batter is uniformly brown. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 9-inch layers 30 to 35 minutes (they were done in my oven at 25 minutes), 8-inch layers 35 to 40 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.
Split cake with serrated knife to make 4 layers. Whip 2 cups whipping cream with 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract and the confectioners' sugar until stiff. Fill layers and frost top of cake, using a fourth (about 3/4 cup) of the whipped cream for each. Sprinkle a ring of chocolate shot around top edge of cake; decorate with almonds. Chill.