Chocolate Almond Pound Cake with Peppermint Ganache
- Double recipe Chocolate Ganache or Sauce
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour/meal or 2 cups almond slices
- 1 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour*
- 7 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 4 ounce semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Optional: 1 bar (3 oz) bar best quality chocolate
- Optional: Finely chopped toasted almond
- Fresh mint, few leaves
*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare ganache and add peppermint extract and set aside in a cool area but not refrigerator.
- Lightly oil a 10 x 15-inch jelly roll cake pan. Fit bottom and sides of pan with tightly fitting parchment paper and set aside.
- If using almond flour omit following step but do combine almond flour, sugar and flour in a large bowl. Otherwise in a food processor combine almond slices, sugar and flour. Mix ingredients until almonds feel finer than cornmeal. Scrape into a bowl.
- Add egg whites, salt and vanilla. Stir ingredients until blended.
- In a separate bowl combine butter and chocolate. Place over low simmering water and stir until melted. Remove from heat.
- Pour into almond mixture and stir until just combined.
- Scrape batter into prepared pan and place in oven. Bake until center bounces back when lightly pressed with a finger, about 18 minutes.
- Allow to cool until completely cold. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper followed by a cookie sheet. Turn upside down.
- Cut cake using a serrated knife lengthwise in 3 equal strips. Fit a cake frosting spatula and/or long knife underneath both ends of one cake strip and transfer onto a serving platter.
- At this time ganache should have firmed enough to spread onto first layer. If still too soft place it briefly in freezer and when removed stir gently. Chill only long enough until it has slightly thickened. Making it too cold may firm ganache too much. If this happens, warm in a microwave oven.
- Spread 1/3 of ganache onto first cake layer or pipe zig zags using a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip.
- Transfer another cake layer using spatulas and or knives and repeat with another third of ganache. Repeat with cake and ganache. Set aside at room temperature.
- Chop chocolate bar into small pieces and place 2/3 of it in a microwave-proof bowl. Set 1/3 of remaining chocolate aside.
- Select a saucepan which will nicely hold the above bowl. Fill saucepan with one inch of water and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling turn to very low simmer and then place chocolate bowl on top. Stir constantly until chocolate is nearly melted.
- Remove from heat and let sit for 2 minutes. Add remaining non melted chocolate and stir until most of chocolate has melted.
- Using a metal offset spatula spread chocolate very thinly onto a sheet of plastic food wrap and immediately sprinkle with toasted almonds. Allow to harden.
- Decorate surface with broken pieces of chocolate, mint and sprinkle with powdered sugar.