Flourless Chocolate-Almond Cake
This is a favorite of mine, and not just for Passover. If you like almonds and chocolate, this will soon become a favorite of yours. Made without flour, this is a great dessert option for those who are gluten-free. It is also a great option for Passover, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.
The name “Pesach” (pronounced PAY-sahch) comes from the Hebrew root “Pei-Samekh-Cheit”, meaning to pass through, to pass over, to exempt, or to spare. In the Jewish religion, Passover refers to the fact that God passed over the houses of the Jews when he was slaying the firstborn of Egypt.
Above is a representation of the 10 plagues (referenced during a Passover). The Bible says God brought the plagues on the Egyptians to convince Pharaoh to free the Israelites from slavery. This is a toy set my boys have had since they were little. The 10 plagues are: (1) Blood, (2) Frogs, (3) Lice, (4) Wild Beats, (5) Pestilence, (6) Boils, (7) Hail, (8) Locusts, (9) Darkness, and (10) Death of your first-born.
The most significant observance related to Pesach involves avoiding leaven (or chametz) throughout the holiday. This commemorates the fact that the Jews leaving Egypt were in a hurry, and did not have time to let their bread rise. This has posed some issues for modern dessert makers! For our purposes, the absence of flour can often make cakes dense. Don’t get me wrong, I love a rich dense cake now and again, but I also like a lighter one as well.
This recipe uses finely ground toasted almonds, which gives it a wonderful subtle nutty flavor to complement the rich chocolate. The whipped egg whites lighten this irresistible cake even more. The airiness of the cake makes for the perfect end to a great meal without being too overwhelming and heavy. The baking process here is a bit involved, but slowly reducing the oven temperature allows for nice even cooking to help achieve the perfect fluffy cake texture.
People often ask me how to properly cut a cake like this. The simple trick is to use a long thin slicing knife that is dipped in warm water and dried before each cut. Doing this will give you a nice clean-out. Whether you are avoiding gluten, celebrating Passover, or just looking for a new dessert, this flourless chocolate almond cake is worth a try. It tastes great, it is not too sweet, and it only needs a dash of confectioners sugar, and a dollop of whipped cream to accompany it.