This is another outing, in a different guise, for my basic cake recipe. It's based on a Madeira Cake, and this time some of the flour is replaced by ground nuts. I also added plain chocolate chunks, in the form of chopped bars, and chopped pistachio nuts. I really like the look of chopped bars of chocolate in a cake; the mix of sizes of the pieces, from specks to large lumps gives a more interesting appearance than regular chips. In this cake I used chocolate with 85% cocoa solids, which meant that the cake was not over-sweet, but rich and interesting in flavour, and kept moist by the ground almonds.
225g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
220g SR flour
55g ground almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
milk to mix, as necessary - about 3-5 tablespoons
50g pistachio nuts - chopped fairly small
150g plain chocolate (I used 85% cocoa solids) - chopped roughly, not too many large pieces, which might sink.
25g flaked almonds
Heat the oven to 170C, prepare a 20cm (8") round cake tin.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, the beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a teaspoon of flour with each egg to lessen the chances of curdling. Add the vanilla extract.
Fold in the rest of the flour and ground nuts, using enough milk to give a soft dropping consistency, then gently mix in the chopped chocolate and pistachios.
Transfer the mixture to the baking tin, level the surface and sprinkle the flaked almonds evenly over the top.
Bake for about 70 minutes, or until done when tested with a probe.
Cool for at least 20 minutes in the tin before removing the cake to a wire rack to finish cooling.