Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F)
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Macerating time: 12-24 hours
Baking time: 12 minutes
This cake can be made a day, or even two days, ahead. You could use frozen or canned plums in syrup. In this case, reduce the quantity of sugar and the cooking time. Serve cold, accompanied by crème anglaise and a late harvest Gewürztraminer.
An original creation from Chef Michel Jost of Pâtisserie Jost-Maurer in Dorlisheim, France
The day before
- Prepare the plums with cinnamon and whisky. Marinate the plums for 12 to 24 hours with 500 g (2 1/2 cups) sugar and the cinnamon stick, stirring often.
For the flourless chocolate sponge
- Work the almond paste to soften it, then combine in a mixer with 40 g (3 tbsp.) sugar, 5 egg yolks and the whole egg. Beat for several minutes until emulsified and smoothly combined.
- Melt together the 40 g of chocolate and 40 g butter. Whip the 3 egg whites vigorously, gradually adding 40 g (3 tbsp.) granulated sugar. Fold together the three mixtures and then fold in 25 g (1 oz.) sifted cocoa powder.
- Pour into a buttered and parchment-lined cake pan to a depth of 2 cm (scant 1”) and bake at 190° C (375° F) for 10 to 12 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick.
- Cook the plums until candied, that is, for a long time over very low heat. Drain and cool. Add a splash of whisky to taste. Reserve a few spoonfuls of the syrup to soak the cake.
- Make a syrup with 100 ml (8 tbsp.) water and 100 ml (8 tbsp.) sugar. Bring to a boil, let cool to lukewarm and then combine with 5 beaten egg yolks, whisking over low heat without boiling until the mixture reaches 85° C (185° F) and has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Pour the hot mixture over the 460 g of coarsely chopped chocolate. Stir until melted and let cool to 45° C (113° F). Fold in the whipped cream.
To assemble the cake
- Have a stainless steel ring or mold ready. Line it with a strip of parchment paper, or better yet, rhodoid. Place the cake, trimmed to a 2 cm (scant 1”) height, into the ring, soak lightly with the plum syrup, place the candied plums on top, followed by the chocolate mousse.
- Smooth the mousse with a spatula and place in the freezer for at least 3 hours.
- After unmolding, sprinkle the top with cocoa powder and decorate with a few plums and a cinnamon stick. Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.
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