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Almond & Dark Chocolate Cake

1 hr


10-12 slices

A deliciously rich Almond & Dark Chocolate Cake. There are so many Serbian cakes that I love, and what I love about them most is that the sponge is never overly dense, there is plenty of sweetness and the perfect amount of creamy filling between each layer. Inspired by the Serbian Reform Torta, this cake is made with lots of grounded almonds and a buttery, dark chocolate filling. Once you taste it, you will realize why this cake is so delicious. The lightly textured sponge and the rich creamy chocolatey filling will have you going back for seconds. This cake is exactly how I love making and eating layered cakes, it is worth all the effort.

cake layers

About this recipe

Amongst the many walnuts and chocolate-based cakes in Serbia, you will find a lot of cakes based around grounded almonds and creamy fillings. Whether it is a chocolate or custard-based filling, cakes that are based around these principles are amongst the most popular. So, I wanted to share with you a cake that is an embodiment of cake making in Serbia. Made with coarsely grounded almonds (reserving the nutty crunch) and a creamy dark chocolate filling, decorated with whipped cream and more grounded almonds on top for an extra crunchy bite – this cake is just extravagant. Cakes like this are some of my favourites. I have grown into loving the process of cake making, so recipes like this are a joy to make. 

A lot of eggs

Did I mention that this cake requires 12 eggs? If you have grown up with Serbian cakes, you will not be surprised with the number of eggs that go into many cakes. Usually, the eggs are separated, the egg whites are used for the sponge/base and the egg yolks are reserved for the creamy fillings. This cake recipe requires 4 egg whites per base, and this is repeated 3 times in total, resulting in three almond sponge bases. Place the egg yolks in a separate heat safe bowl to be used for the dark chocolate filling.

Almond and Chocolate Cake layers

The Almond Sponge

Use whole almonds – Do not use almond meal. You need whole almonds. Blend them in a food processor until they are coarsely grounded

Grind the almonds first – Before you start with the recipe, grind the almonds in a food processor until they are coarsely grounded.

The egg whites – Beat the egg whites in a clean mixing bowl, with a pinch of salt and sugar. Beat them until stiff peaks form, this can take up to five minutes.

Fold the remaining ingredients – Add the flour and grounded almonds and fold them in with a spatula. The egg whites will deflate a little, this is normal.

Bake on high heat – Bake the sponge in the oven for 13 – 15 minutes at 200, or until the base turns light brown. The sponge may raise in the oven, but it will deflate once removed.

Clean your equipment – Once you place the first layer in the oven, clean your mixing bowl, the whisk, and the spatula. All equipment must be clean so that the new batch of egg whites form stiff peaks.

Repeat x 2 – This recipe is for 3 layers in total. Once you bake the first layer, repeat the process 2 more times.

Let the sponge cool – Once baked, leave all 3 almond layers on a clean surface, cover with a towel, and allow to cool completely. If you are preparing the cake the day before, place the layers in the fridge to cool overnight.

almond and chocolate cake slice

The Chocolate Filling

Egg yolks – The chocolate filling is made from the 12 remaining egg yolks that are cooked with sugar, using the double boiler method. You will need to whisk the egg yolks constantly to ensure they don’t turn into scrambled eggs.

The sugar – Add 250 g of granulated sugar to the eggs gradually, while continuing to whisk the mixture. The sugar needs to dissolve into the egg yolks.

Cooking the egg yolks – Continue to cook the egg yolks for 10 minutes, whisking continually. You are looking for a custard-like consistency.

Dark Chocolate – Use good quality dark chocolate (70%). Chop the chocolate into smaller pieces. This will help them melt into the egg yolk mixture easier.

Chill – Before adding the butter, let the mixture chill until completely cool. If you add the butter too soon, the filling will melt the butter.

The butter – Use cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and mix into the chocolate filling until fully incorporated. Use a hand or stand mixer to combine.

Chill if necessary – If you are working in a hot environment, chill the chocolate filling before assembling the cake. A warm chocolate filling will not hold the cake.

Assemble – Assemble the cake following the directions below and chill in the fridge before serving.

Almond & Dark Chocolate Cake Slice

Looking for more?

If you are looking for more ideas, try one of the recipes below:

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate & Mascarpone Cake

Walnut & Chocolate Squares

I hope you make this decadent Almond & Dark Chocolate Cake. The labor of love it takes to make this cake is worth all the effort. In the end you get to enjoy the beautiful light almond sponges filled with rich chocolate filling layers. Leave a comment and let me know how this recipe turns out for you. If you get a moment, please leave this recipe a rating. If you get a little stuck or have any questions, you can also reach me over on Instagram. 



Adjust Servings
The Almond Sponge (x 3)
4 egg whites
a pinch of salt
100g granulated sugar
100g coarsely grounded almonds
10g flour
The Chocolate Filling
12 egg yolks
250g caster sugar
250g 70 % dark chocolate, chopped
250 cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
The Decorations (optional)
200ml whipped cream
100 g coarsely grounded almonds


Almond Sponge
Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Grease the bottom of a round 22 cm baking pan with butter and place baking paper on top (the butter helps the baking paper stay in place). Set aside. In a large clean mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add 4 egg whites, reserving the egg yolks in a separate heat proof bowl. To the egg whites, add a pinch of salt and begin to whip the egg whites on medium speed. Once the egg whites start to foam, add in 100 g of sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until all of it is well incorporated. Continue whipping until the egg whites become firm and double in size. This can take up to 5 minutes on medium-high speed.
Once the egg whites are firm, turn the stand mixer or hand mixer off. Add in 100 g grounded walnuts and 10 g of flour. Using a spatula, gently fold this in. Transfer the batter to your lined baking pan and spread in an even layer. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until lightly brown on top and set to the touch. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully remove the cake layer. Repeat this step 2 more times until you have 3 layers baked in total. Let them cool on a clean surface and cover with a towel until the cake is ready to assemble.
Mark as complete
Dark Chocolate Filling
Using the double boiler method, make the filling. Place the egg yolks in a heat proof bowl and place the bowl on top of a small pot filled with a cup or two of boiling water. The bowl with the egg yolks should not touch the water. Turn the heat to medium and using a hand whisk, mix the egg yolks for one minute. Gradually add 250 g caster sugar, whisking it in after each addition. Maintain a soft boil of the water and cook the egg mixture slowly for 10 minutes, whisking the entire time to ensure the eggs remain a silky-smooth texture. While whisking, the sugar will incorporate, the egg yolks should gain volume and turn lighter in colour. You are looking for a pudding-like consistency.
Once the egg yolk mixture has thickened add in the chopped dark chocolate. Whisk until the chocolate has melted. Remove the bowl from the pot, cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and allow it to cool completely. Once the chocolate mixture has completely cooled, add the cold, cubed butter a small portion at a time and using a mixer, mix on medium-high speed. Keep mixing until all of the butter has been incorporated (do not add all the butter at once). You are looking for a creamy consistency. If you are working in a hot environment, allow the filling to chill in the fridge for 20 - 30 minutes or until slightly firmed.
Mark as complete
Assembling The Layers
Once you are ready to assemble, place the first layer of sponge cake on your cake plate or stand. Spread the first layer with a semi-thick layer of chocolate filling. Place the next cake layer on top and repeat the process until all filling and cake layers are used up. Use any remaining chocolate filling to cover the sides of the cake.
Refrigerate the cake overnight or for at least 2 hours before decorating.
Mark as complete
Decoration (optional)
Once the cake has set, prepare your whipped cream, and cover the sides and top of the cake with it. Cover the top of the cake with grounded almonds.
Decorate the edges of the cake with additional whipped cream either using a decorative knife or a piping bag. This process is entirely up to you.
Mark as complete
You can prepare the cake layers and the filling the day before and assemble the cake the next day.

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