Almond & Dark Chocolate Cake
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looking for more?
If you are looking for more ideas, try one of the recipes below:
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.
|The Almond Sponge (x 3)|
|4 egg whites|
|a pinch of salt|
|100g granulated sugar|
|100g coarsely grounded almonds|
|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|