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Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake

Jul 23, 2010

6 Comments

I never tire of baking with almonds. They fill the kitchen with such an enticing aroma and deliver a delicate flavor to whatever I make. Almonds are also packed with nutrients. They are an excellent source of vitamin E, manganese and are rich in monounsaturated fat, one of the “good” fats responsible for lowering your LDL cholesterol. They have been proven to reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your complexion.

Almonds have been a favorite of bakers since ancient times. Domesticated trees began to appear in the Near East in the Early Bronze Age (3300-2200 BC). Their popularity spread all around the Mediterranean; almonds were even found in King Tutankhamun’s tomb (he died in 1323 BC) for him to snack on in the afterlife. If they were good enough for a Pharaoh, they’re good enough for me!
Spanish missionaries introduced almond trees to California in the 18th Century and the trees have thrived in California’s Mediterranean climate ever since. In fact, California produces 80% of the world’s almonds and 100% of the commercial crop for the United States.

For this gluten-free cake, I prefer to keep the skins on the almonds for extra fiber and coarsely grind them in the food processor. I like the extra crunch they bring to this cake and the combination of almonds and chocolate is heavenly. Enjoy this cake with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar and some fresh berries. Healthy food never tasted so good!

Makes a 9-inch cake; 8-12 servings
Preparation time: 60 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 stick (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, plus some for greasing the pan
7 ounces (200 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 eggs, separated, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup (100 grams) organic brown sugar
1 1/3 cups (100 grams) ground almonds (keep the skins on for added fiber) or almond flour
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Seasonal berries (strawberries, raspberries) for serving (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F and position the rack in the center of the oven.

2 Pulse almonds in a food processor to grind. Be careful not to grind them too fine or you’ll make almond butter. Set aside.

3 Butter the sides and bottom (or spray with non-stick spray) of a 9-inch round springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper and butter the paper. You may want to cover the outside sides and bottom of the pan with a wide sheet of aluminum foil if you suspect your pan leaks.

4 Melt the butter and chocolate in a heavy saucepan over low heat until melted. Be careful not to burn the chocolate. Remove from the heat and cool.
Chill a metal bowl in the fridge for the egg whites later.

5 In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks are formed – about three minutes. Transfer the beaten egg whites to the chilled metal bowl and reserve in the fridge.

6 Put the egg yolks into the mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment with the brown sugar and beat on high speed until the mixture leaves a distinct trail on the surface when you lift the beater and it turns a pale yellow color, about five minutes. Add the vanilla extract.

7 Lower the mixer speed and gradually add the butter/chocolate mixture. Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides. Mix well to combine.

8 Add the ground almonds (or almond flour if using) slowly and mix until blended.

9 Remove the beaten egg whites from the fridge and divide into four parts with a rubber spatula. Mix the first fourth into the chocolate/almond mixture and blend well with the spatula. Fold in the other three parts gently, taking care not to deflate the egg whites. Make sure there are no white streaks in the batter.

10 Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth so the top is level.

11 Place pan on a cookie sheet and put into the preheated oven.

12 Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until tester comes out clean (do not over bake).

13 Cool for 10 minutes and then run a knife around the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack.

14 Remove the cake from the pan and invert onto a serving plate. Remove the parchment paper.

15 Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with fresh seasonal berries if desired.

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  • Talar

    This looks so delicious…I can’t wait to make it (and eat it)!

    • Thank you Talar! I love to make this cake for New Year’s Eve. After it’s baked and cooled down, I discretely stick a whole almond in it. The person who gets the slice that has the whole almond is considered to have an abundant new year! Good luck and Happy New Year!

  • I love this one! been a diabetic i will just replace sugar with stevia and viola!

    congrats!!!

    • Thank you Jose! I use Xylitol in my sugar-free cookies and that’s what I would recommend instead of stevia, but it’s your choice. Enjoy the cake!!!

  • Sonig

    This is such a delicious cake!!! Whoever ate it, went home with the recipe…BTW all the recipes are very clear and easy to follow. As for the design of the website, it’s very unique and classy…Good luck

    • Sonig, we appreciate your nice words and support! Our aim is to serve people healthy and delicious products, made with whole and nutritious ingredients. Thank you for “liking” our Facebook page and sharing our recipes! We try our best!




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