Melt chocolate using a double-boiler or bain-marie method. Place a heat resistant glass bowl or a metal bowl with chocolate broken into small pieces over a pan (pot) with a boiling water in a way that the bottom of the top bowl with chocolate doesn’t touch the water in the bottom pan.
Water should continue to boil on a low heat. Occasionally stir the melting chocolate. When chocolate is completely melted - set aside.
If you are using whole almonds, blanch almonds for 60 seconds first boiling than in cold water. Peel off the skin, quickly dry in the oven. Process in a food processor into fine grind flour.
Ready-to-use almond flour definitely saves you some time and you can find it without a hustle at a grocery store or order online.
NOTE: If you are using a store-bought almond flour make sure you read the ingredients. Very important. Occasionally you can come across and almond flour mix that usually has 50% almond flour 50% powdered sugar. And you can still use it for this recipe if you not need any additional powdered sugar in this case, except for 2 tbsp to beat the egg whites.
Separate egg yolks from the egg whites. Make sure there are not egg yolk bits in the egg whites! This is the reason why I recommend separating one egg at a time over a spare bowl, so that even if one egg yolk gets broken it doesn’t damage the rest of the egg whites in the bowl.
Beat egg yolks with half of the powdered sugar until fluffy. At this stage add rum or Grand Marnier if you have it.
In the meantime your melted chocolate has cooled down a bit and it's a perfect time to add softened butter, grated orange zest and dark (bitter) cocoa powder. Mix everything well.
Fold in the egg yolk mix into the chocolate mix. Stir in the almond flour.
Beat the eggs whites with remaining powdered sugar until soft peaks form (about 5 minutes starting low and slowly increasing the speed).
If you are using a standing mixer it’s a perfect time to grease your cake mold and preheat the oven to 350F.
To prevent our cake from sticking deadly to the mold we are first greasing it with butter, then covering with some flour. Just regular all purpose flour. BUT if you are making this for someone with gluten intolerance make sure you use corn flour or other gluten-free flour instead.
I like to use a springform baking pan but any pan with removable bottom will do.
Now that your egg whites have a perfect soft peak consistency start gently folding them into the chocolate almond dough. One or two scoops at a time. This is very important. If you throw in all eggs white at the same time or mix to intensely they will loose their fluffy and soft consistency and make your cake.
Carefully pour in our chocolate almond cake into prearranged pan. With a spatula level all the bumps on the surface of the cake until smooth top. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
At a 30-minute mark do a toothpick test.
Stick in a toothpick in the middle of the cake if it comes out dry or with a few breadcrumbs - the cake is ready. And it’s important to not overcook this cake so that it retains its wonderful moist texture on the inside and crusty top on the outside.
Let the cake cool for 20-30 minutes still in the baking pan before removing it. If removed too fast there is a risk to break it.
Dust the top with confectioners/ powdered sugar or cocoa powder.