Chocolate almond cake is so decadent and to-die-for. Intensely chocolatey with a hint of almond flavor, this cake is wrapped in a layer of raspberry jam and topped with a smooth ganache icing. A must-try recipe for all chocolate lovers!
Prep Baking Pan: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9-by-3-inch springform pan by applying butter to the sides and bottom of the pan. Fit a round parchment paper in the bottom and apply butter on it again. Dust the sides of the pan with cocoa powder if needed. Set it aside.
Whip Egg Whites: Take a stand mixer with clean bowl and attachments. Add egg whites, salt and lemon juice in the bowl and whisk at low speed until foamy. Gradually add half of the sugar. Increase the speed and continue to beat until the whites hold stiff peaks. Do not over beat.
Refrigerate: Transfer the whipped egg whites to another clean bowl and store in refrigerator while proceeding with the next steps.
Melt chocolate with butter in a bowl set over a saucepan with simmering water. Cover until melted partially, then uncover and stir until fully melted and smooth. Stir in almond extract. Remove from heat and let it cool until tepid or room temperature.
Whip Egg Yolks: Take egg yolks and remaining sugar in the stand mixer bowl and whisk at low speed until foamy. Increase the speed and whip the mixture into a pale, thick and stable foam.
Add Chocolate: On low speed, gradually add the melted chocolate-butter mixture to the whipped egg yolks, making sure it is fully incorporated.
Make Batter: Combine almond flour and baking soda. Then sift it into the chocolate-butter-yolk mixture in 3 batches, adding whipped egg whites only as needed, to lighten up the batter. Finally fold in all the whipped egg whites evenly, scraping the bottom of bowl, until incorporated. Do not fold or stir excessively.
Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and level it off with a spatula. Tap the pan and rotate it briskly from one side to another to even out the batter.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. The cake may crack a bit on the top and that’s ok.
Remove the cake from oven and let it cool for 50 to 60 minutes. Gently release the ring and allow the cake to cool completely.
Level Cake: The cake will not sink too much in the middle. However, using a long and sharp knife, cut the edges if needed to make it level.
Invert Cake: Place a small flat plate or cake lifter over the cake and invert it carefully and slide it on a cake plate that has been lined with four strips of parchment paper (3 by 12 inches) on four sides and overlapping at the corners. The cake is now upside down. Remove the paper lining on the top of the cake.
Make sure that the paper strips are all around the cake to keep the icing off the plate. You may use a cake-decorating turntable or a lazy susan, if you wish.
Raspberry Jam Syrup: Heat jam in a small sauce pan with 1 tablespoon of water and reduce it to very thick honey like consistency. Pour it over the cake and spread it on top and sides.
Ganache: Heat the cream in a medium saucepan at medium heat just until it begins to boil. Add the chopped chocolate and coffee powder. Stir for one minute and remove pan from heat. Then stir until fully melted and smooth. Add the honey. Let it stand at room temperature, uncovered, stirring in between, for 10 to 15 minutes, until it reaches a thick pouring consistency. Watch this stage carefully, so that it doesn't become too thick to spread.
Icing: Pour the ganache slowly over the top of the cake, starting in the middle. Gently swirl a bit to let the icing disperse on top and trickle a bit on the sides of the cake (the icing on the sides should be a much thinner layer than the top). You may not need to smooth the ganache on the top if done swiftly but gently. If needed, smooth the top using a long metal spatula. Then smooth the sides.
Remove the strips of parchment paper carefully. Decorate with fresh raspberries and chocolate curls.
Bittersweet Chocolate for Ganache: Use 2 tablespoons honey while making the ganache. Skip or reduce the coffee powder.
Measurements: I have listed ingredients both in American cups and metric measures (weight). And weighing the ingredients is more precise.
Using Toasted Almonds: Toast the almonds at 350 degrees F, in a single layer on a baking sheet for 10 to 12 to minutes, until light golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Process the almonds with ¼ cup of the sugar (use remaining sugar — half for whites, half for yolks) in a food processor until the nuts are fine and powdery. Be sure to process the nuts as fine as possible but stop before it turns into butter.
More Moist Cake: Use 5 ounces unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons of any neutral tasting oil.
Gluten Free: Make sure to check labels for any gluten ingredients or use gluten free versions.
Storage: Cover with a cake dome and store at room temperature for about 3 days. The icing is best in the cooler months of the year. Refrigerate leftovers for a week or as per expiry date for the cream. This cake freezes very well. Just thaw to room temperature and enjoy it.
Make Ahead: The cake can be made a day ahead, but peel the parchment paper only before icing it.
The serving size is a generous portion for a rich cake. A much smaller slice is still very satisfying especially with fresh raspberries.