Chocolate almond cake with bay and orange

This recipe was in a Guardian food supplement a while back, I've changed it a little to suit my store cupboard. I've baked this cake a few times, we all love it, so much so that my son asked to have one for his birthday cake!
This a flourless cake, the almonds make for a fudgy texture, the orange and bay give a wonderful delicate flavour and the sugary almond topping is lovely and crunchy. Its also a sinch to make.
The cake serves 8 - 10
Tin size - 23cm springform tin
Oven temperature 170C / gas mark 3 / 340F

Cake ingredients
175g butter, chopped plus extra for greasing the tin
cocoa powder for dusting the tin
200g dark 70% chocolate (or thereabouts) broken into pieces
175g ground almonds
4 large eggs
100g soft brown sugar
75g caster sugar
pinch of salt

Almond topping ingredients
100g whole almonds
finely grated zest of a small orange
pinch sea salt
50g granulated sugar
6 - 8 fresh bay leaves

Preheat the oven, temps above.

Grease the tin and dust with the cocoa.

Put the butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Make sure the water cannot touch the bottom of the bowl as this could burn the chocolate. Melt the butter and chocolate.

Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the ground almonds. Allow this mixture to cool a bit.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Stir both of the sugars into the yolks, then mix this into the chocolate almond mixture.

Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until they hold soft peaks.

Mix one dessertspoonful of the egg white mixture with the whole almonds, salt, granulated sugar and orange zest in a small bowl.

Gently fold the rest of the whisked egg white into the chocolate and almond mixture, keeping in as much air as possible.

Spoon the batter into the cake tin, then scatter the almond mixture over the top. Press the bay leaves very lightly on top of this, allowing them to sink into the batter a little.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 35 minutes until set and slightly springy. Leave the cake to cool completely.

You are welcome :)

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