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Seasonal Recipes

Recipe for chocolate-almond cake

Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe

Makes one 9-inch round

The subtle aroma of almond streams through this flourless chocolate cake, airy with egg whites, and sweetened only enough to bring out the taste of chocolate. It’s a light spring dessert ideal for any celebration, including a graduation buffet. Using the butter and both bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate, melted but still tepid, helps build the foundation for vanilla, ground almonds, and whipped egg whites. The cake settles softly as it cools. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve with whipped cream. It’s refined, casual, and inviting.

Butter (for the pan)
7ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to tepid
1ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled to tepid
9tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to tepid
¾cup granulated sugar
1tablespoon alkalized cocoa powder (such as Droste)
5eggs, separated
2teaspoons vanilla extract
cup ground almonds
teaspoon salt

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan.


2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates with the butter until thoroughly combined.

3. In another large bowl, whisk the sugar and cocoa powder. Add the egg yolks and beat for 3 minutes or until thickened. Blend in the melted chocolate mixture. Add the vanilla and ground almonds. Mix until thoroughly incorporated.

4. In an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until just beginning to swell. Add the salt and continue beating until firm, but not stiff, peaks form.

5. With a large metal spoon, stir 3 large spoonfuls of the whites into the chocolate batter. Fold in the remaining whites, combining the two mixtures gently to keep the batter light. Without deflating the batter, make sure there no large streaks of whites.

6. Spoon the batter into the pan, smooth the top, and transfer to the oven.

7. Bake the cake for 40 minutes, or until just set. Set the pan on a rack to cool; the cake will fall slightly. Release the sides of the pan, leaving the cake on its base. Cut the cake into wedges. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve with whipped cream, if you like. Lisa Yockelson