Almond Chocolate Cake

 Ingredients:

6 eggs, separated

2 1/2 C blanched almonds, toasted

2 T plus 1 1/4 C sugar, divided

1/2 C butter, softened

3 oz. semisweet chocolate, grated

1/4 C cold brewed express

2 T baking cocoa

2 T orange juice

1 T instant express granules

1 t vanilla extract

Confectioners’ sugar, chocolate curls and coffee beans, optional

Directions:

Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile in a food processor, combine almonds and 2 tablespoons sugar; cover and process until ground.

Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the chocolate, espresso, cocoa, orange juice, espresso granules, vanilla and reserved almond mixture.

Beat reserved egg whites on high until stiff peaks form.  Fold egg whites into the batter.  Pour into a greased 9-inch springform pan.  Place pan on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 42-48 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool completely.  Garnish with confectioners’ sugar, chocolate curls and coffee beans if desired.