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(Gluten Free) Sunken Black Forest Cakes

Yields1 Serving

 1 cup almonds (whole, sliced, slivered or blanched)
 8 oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
 ½ cup butter (next time I'll try using less, but this was no time to experiment)
 1 cup sugar, divided
 4 large eggs
 1 tsp instant espresso or coffee powder, dissolved in 1 tsp. water (optional)
 1 can cherry pie filling, or canned, drained Bing cherries, or pitted fresh cherries
 whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350°F.


Place almonds in a food processor and pulse until they are coarsely ground. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. In a small bowl, microwave the chocolate and butter on high for 30 seconds; stir, then put it back in for about 30 seconds longer. Stir until it's melted and smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.


Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a clean glass or stainless steel bowl, and the yolks in another large bowl. Add the sugar and espresso to the yolks and whisk to combine them. Stir in the ground almonds and chocolate.


With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form; add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until they are stiff and glossy, and stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Divide the batter among the muffin cups (about 1/3 cup batter in each) and bake until edges are firm and tops are cracked all over, about 20-25 minutes. Set on a wire rack to cool (they will sink quite a bit as they cool).


Serve each topped with a spoonful of cherries and whipped cream or ice cream. If you like, shave a few chocolate curls over each using a vegetable peeler.