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A chocolate almond cake on a pink cake stand
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Chocolate Almond Cake

This chocolate almond cake is my take on Julia Child's legendary Reine de Saba. Rich, almost flourless cake filled with marzipan buttercream and topped with a silky ganache
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 Slice
Calories 199kcal

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp rum dark
  • 1 stick butter softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar plus one tablespoon
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites room temp
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2/3 cup pulverized almonds
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup cake flour

For the Ganache:

  • 4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 5-7 tbs unsalted butter

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup grated marzipan
  • 1 stick salted butter room temp
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tbs hot water
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

Instructions

For the Cake

  • For the egg whites, add a pinch of salt and beat on high until soft peaks form. Add sugar and continue to beat until peaks stiffen.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour cake pan. Set chocolate and rum in a bowl set over simmering water to melt. Remove from heat when almost completely melted.
  • Cream butter and 2/3 cup sugar together for several minutes until they form a pale yellow fluffy mixture. Beat in egg yolks until well blended. 
  • Beat in egg whites and salt in separate bowl until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on 1 tbsp sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed. With spatula, blend melted chocolate into butter and sugar mixture, then stir in almonds, and almond extract. 
  • Immediately stir one fourth of egg whites to lighten the batter. Delicately fold in a third of remaining whites and when partially blended, sift on one third of flour and continue folding. 
  • Alternate rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are incorporated. Turn batter into cake pan, pushing batter up to its rim with a spatula. Bake in middle level of oven for about 25 minutes. Cake is done when it has puffed, and 2-1/2 to 3 inches around the circumference are set so that a needle plunged into that area comes out clean; center should move slightly if pan is shaken, and a needle comes out oily. 
  • Allow cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Run knife around edge of pan, and reverse cake on rack. Allow it to cool for an hour or two; it must be thoroughly cold if it is to be iced. 

For the Filling

  • Grate the marzipan into a bowl and pour the hot water over. Knead together so the marzipan absorbs the water and softens up.
  • Cream butter and marzipan together until well combined then add the sugar and almond extract. Beat until fluffy.

For the Ganache

  • Place chocolate and rum in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water for a few minutes until mostly melted.
  • Remove pot from the double boiler and beat un butter a tablespoon at a time. Set aside until the mixture cools down and spread over the cake using a spatula.

Notes

  • Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don't have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
  • If you prefer not to use the dark rum then sub in coffee and if neither of those will do then use milk.
  • Try heating your marzipan for 3-4 seconds in the microwave to help soften it if if feels a bit too hard.
  • Your bowl and beater needs to be totally clean and grease-free before you whip the egg whites. Try wiping with vinegar or lemon juice if you have any doubts.

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece | Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.8g | Protein: 6.8g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 0.4mg | Sodium: 264mg | Potassium: 108mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10.2g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 0.7mg