Almond Heart Cake
Heart-shaped and very light in texture, these flourless little cakes are flavored with almond and orange, and garnished with grated bittersweet chocolate and edible flowers.
- Unsalted Butter - 3 tablespoons, at room temperature
- Granulated Sugar - 5 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup
- Almond Flour - 1-1/2 cups
- Dried White Bread Crumbs - 1/4 cup, made from crust-trimmed bread
- Eggs - 3
- Egg Yolk - 1
- Almond Extract - 1 tablespoon
- Orange flower water - 1 tablespoon
- Grated Orange Zest - 1 tablespoon
- Peanut Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Egg Whites - 5, at room temperature
- Pine nuts - 1/2 cup (2-1/2 ounces), toasted
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 6 ounces, grated
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- Edible Flowers - 6 to 12, like pansies or marigolds
- Fresh mint sprigs - 6
- Pine nuts - 3 tablespoons, toasted
- Warm chocolate sauce - 2 cups (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Butter six 8-ounce heart molds with the butter and dust with 4 tablespoons of the sugar. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, bread crumbs, and the 3/4 cup sugar and stir together. Lightly beat the eggs and egg yolk and mix with the flour mixture. Add the almond extract, orange flower water, zest, and oil and stir together.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar until very firm glossy peaks form. Mix about one-fourth of the whites into the almond mixture, then fold in the rest. Divide the pine nuts among the heart molds. Spoon the batter on top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean.
To serve: Unmold the hearts onto dessert plates. Sprinkle the grated chocolate over and around the cakes. Dust them with confectioner’s sugar. Garnish the plates with the flowers, mint, and pine nuts. Serve chocolate sauce alongside if you wish.