My mom texted me after the last blog post reminiscing about all the good times. We had a good chuckle about the chore list (Did you miss that story? Find it here). Truth be told, we had a very happy childhood even though we were basically the Cinderella mice. JK, JK... BUT seriously... how come so many people I know didn't have to do chores growing up??!?
When I was home for Christmas, Kelly (that's baby sis) and I were driving about town, making some grocery stops and some coffee stops. We were jamming in the car to some music, per usual, and started cracking up as we argued over who got to play the air drums. While this story alone is not likely funny to anyone, there is more to it that really sets up the joke.
When we were children we spent a lot of time in the car. We drove 40 minutes to school, 40 minutes to swim practice, 40 minutes back home from school or swim practice, hours to go on vacations (what's an aero-plane?), hours to swim meets, basketball games, volleyball games, water polo tournaments... I mean A LOT of time was spent in the car. One of the great ways to pass time in the car, aside from Punch Bug and the License Plate games (obvs), was air band. We would each take an instrument and jam out to the hottest hits of the newest Now! That's What I Call Music CD. Being siblings and spending so much time together in a confined space, inevitably an argument over who got to be "on" the drums would break out. It's obviously the best instrument to play while sitting in the car. Guitar is fun-ish, definitely second after the drums, but you only had so much space and freedom to move around. And whoever was left after drums or guitar basically had to play the triangle or the tambourine and lip-sync which was super lame and lacked the creative license drums awarded you.
Now with that backstory, flash forward to Christmas 2017 and Kelly and I laugh-arguing over who got to play drums. I would tell her it was fine she could be drums but would then start to join in on the drums when the song really hit its peak. She would laugh-yell that there could only be ONE drum player in this car band and it was definitely not gonna be me because she started first. Dying of laughter, we walked into the house to find Tara (that's the older sis) and her boyfriend standing in the kitchen looking at us like we were crazy. We of course explained the situation, and Tara tried to make us shut it down because Taylor hasn't been fully exposed to the Fitzgerald Brother oddness, but I could tell she was secretly screaming inside that she should have been the drummer.
Again, this week's recipe has nothing to do with this story. I just thought this was another funny story. I have made a similar torte to this in the past. This one is a little more home cook friendly. No complicated chocolate glaze, less eggs, a scoop of almond flour to help balance, and just a lot less overall. A true people pleaser, and gluten-free diet friendly!
The Recipe: Almond Chocolate Torte
~yields one 9-inch cake
The Bits and Bobs:
1 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
11 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
4 eggs, separated
2 tsp almond extract
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup almond meal/flour
cocoa powder for dusting
Preheat oven to 350*F. Butter or spray a 9-inch springform pan and wrap the bottom in foil to prevent any spillage. Set aside.
Melt chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, or in the microwave, stirring until smooth. Set aside and let cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar until pale in color and thick. Stir in the melted chocolate, the almond extract, the almond flour and salt.
In a separate bowl with the whisk attachment on the mixer (or if you brave you can whisk by hand), whisk together the egg whites and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar until soft peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whipped whites into the chocolate mixture with a spatula until white streaks remain. Fold in the rest of the egg whites until combined.
Pour batter into the springform pan and spread evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. The cake will be set on the edges and slightly jiggly in the middle. Allow to cool for 30 minutes or so on the counter, then transfer to the fridge to allow to set for at least 3 hours. Sift cocoa powder over the cake before serving slightly chilled.