Substitute canola oil for butter, if you prefer a non-dairy version.
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut up
3⁄4 cup sugar
5 eggs, separated
1⁄3 cup ground blanched almonds (sold as almond meal or flour)
1 cup Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows)
1. Melt: In a large heavy saucepan set over low heat melt chocolate, butter, and sugar. Let cool.
2. Mix: Whisk egg yolks into the chocolate. Whisk in flour.
3. Fluff: Beat egg whites to firm peaks.
4. Fold: Vigorously mix one-third of the egg whites into the chocolate batter. Gently and thoroughly fold in remaining whites.
5. Bake: Pour batter into a buttered 9-inch spring-form pan. Slide into a 350-degree oven and bake until the cake is firm and springy, about 35 minutes. Cool completely. Release cake and invert onto a 9- inch cardboard or cake-pan round.
6. Glaze: Set cake (on its round) on a wire rack. Set rack over a rimmed baking sheet, to catch drips. Pour all the warm glaze into a big puddle on top. Use the back of an offset spatula to nudge glaze toward the edges, where it can drip becomingly down the sides. Let set a few minutes. Stun guests.
Makes about 1 cup
For a non-dairy version, simply melt the chocolate with 3 tablespoons coconut oil.
Chop 4 ounces semisweet chocolate and tumble into a medium bowl. Heat 1⁄2 cup heavy cream to boiling. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Cover with a plate and let stand 5 minutes. With a soft spatula, gently stir smooth. Stir in 1 teaspoon cognac.