1. Sift together the flour, cocoa and wheat starch. Set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Cook until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line the bottom and the sides of a 18cm circle cake pan with parchment paper. Tip : Put a bit of butter on the inside of the cake pan, it helps the parchment paper stick to it. Set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl add eggs and sugar. Whisk to combine with an electric mixer until the mixture whitens, doubles in volume and forms ribbons (about 5~6min). Slow down to low speed for a few seconds and then stop.
4. Gently add the sifted flour mixture from #1 and mix with a rubber spatula until incorporated well (make sure there is no lump).
5. Put butter and milk together and microwave them till the butter melts (about 20sec). Pour the butter mixture little by little into the cake mixture from #4. Mix gently with a spatula until it is homogeneous. Do not over mix.
6. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared cake pan and gently tap the bottom of the pan a few times to eliminate air pockets. Bake for about 20min or until done. Insert a skewer in the center of the cake : if there is no sticky butter residual, then your baking is done.
7. Remove from the oven and take the cake out of the pan. Let it cool to room temperature on the wire rack.
We prepare the almond praline powder
8. Spread out the almond slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 min at 170℃, or until the almonds are fragrant and lightly brown.
9. Remove from the oven. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar water from #1. Bring it to a boil. Add the almond slices, swirling the water occasionally until the almonds begin to caramelize.
10. Transfer the almond praline on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten them to let it cool completely.
11. Grind the praline into a fine powder using a blender or a food processor. Set it aside.
and we make the whipping cream
12. In a mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream and sugar, beat at high speed until stiff.
NOTE : If your cream is less than 35% fat, then I recommend you to add whipped cream stabilizer (I used "cremfix" here). In that case, add cream stabilizer to the sugar ahead of this step. Add it when your cream is getting a soft peak.
put it all together
13. Slice the cake horizontally in 3 tiers. Brush syrup from #1 on top of each cake layer. Spoon some whipped cream from #12 over the bottom layer and spread it evenly. Then sprinkle almond praline powder evenly (as much as you want) over the cream, and place the second cake layer on top of it.
14. Repeat and place the top cake layer above. Chill the cake until set.
15. In a small cooking pan, heat up heavy cream (100ml). Remove from the heat just before boiling. Add the chocolate and melt them completely with the residual heat.
16 Place the cake on a wire rack over a rimmed platter or baking sheet. Immediately pour the chocolate ganache evenly over the top of your cake until desired coverage is reached.
Sprinkle some almond praline powder to decorate the cake.