Fudgy and chocolatey with a slight almond crunch, there’s no one who could resist this simple and beautiful cake!
This moist Italian-style cake is quite dense, but not too dense thanks to the whipped eggs. It also has a very slight crunch from the almonds, which adds some nice texture.
During baking, the cake will rise and the top will crack slightly. Then, while cooling, it will sink and gain additional cracks. Don’t worry—that’s exactly how it should be. It only means it stays moist and fudgy in the center.
For a more intense chocolate flavor, you can add 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the batter along with the almonds.
Pay attention to the cake during baking. You don’t want to bake it fully and dry it out. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out with moist crumbs rather than clean. For a super fudgy, truffle-like texture, bake for about 35 minutes. I like to bake it for about 40-45 minutes (it will still be fudgy).
This cake tastes even better a day after it’s made, so you can (and should) make it a day in advance.
- 7 oz/200 g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate , roughly chopped
- 7 oz/200 g unsalted butter , chopped
- 4 large eggs , separated
- 1½ tablespoons brandy , optional
- 1 cup (200 g/7 oz) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (100 g/3.5 oz) almond flour/ground almonds
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- cocoa powder , for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch/20cm (or a 9-inch/23 cm) springform pan. Wrap the outside bottom and sides of the pan with aluminum foil to prevent leaking.
- Place chocolate and butter in a medium heat-proof bowl and microwave in 20 to 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted. Alternatively, you can set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl, and stir occasionally until melted. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, place egg yolks and ½ cup (100g) sugar, and whisk by hand for a minute until pale and thick. Stir in chocolate mixture, brandy, almonds, and salt.
In a mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk egg whites and the remaining ½ cup of sugar on high speed until thick, shiny, soft peaks form.
- Using a spatula, fold one-third of egg white mixture into chocolate mixture until mixed. Fold in remaining mixture in 2 additions until combined.
Pour batter into prepared cake pan and smooth the top. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs. The cake should be set on the sides but still wobbly in the center. Allow to cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours until completely set.
- Sift cocoa powder over cake before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
- Cake will keep, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It also freezes well.