Passover is coming, and if you’re looking for a Passover-appropriate dessert recipe, allow me to introduce you to your new best friend:
This is a flourless chocolate cake made with almond flour instead of flour. It’s moist, rich, fudgy, and the perfect end to a Passover celebration. Even if you don’t celebrate Passover, chances are you celebrate chocolate desserts in general, so this recipe has something for everyone.
Flourless Chocolate Cake for Passover
yield: one 9-inch cake
- 8 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, cubed
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided use
- 5 eggs at room temperature
- Zest from one orange or lemon (optional–I’m using several clementines instead)
Some flourless chocolate cake recipes don’t call for any flour substitutes at all, which produces a cake with a really dense, rich texture–almost like a truffle! Those can be delicious, but they’re also really heavy, so as an alternative, some recipes call for a flour substitute to make the cake a bit lighter. This recipe uses almond flour instead of regular flour to keep it Passover-approved, while still giving it a moist, cakey texture.
You can make your own almond flour by grinding toasted almonds in a food processor, but they won’t be quite as finely chopped as if you buy the flour pre-made.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll need a 9-inch springform (cheesecake) pan or a cake pan with a removable bottom for this recipe, because the cake is too delicate to remove otherwise. Spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray and cover the bottom with parchment paper.
Start by combining the chopped chocolate and the cubed butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave it in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds so the chocolate doesn’t overheat.
Once the chocolate and butter are completely melted together, set it aside to cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the cake.
Separate the room temperature eggs, putting the yolks in one large bowl and the whites in a large mixing bowl.
Add 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar to the bowl of yolks, and vigorously whisk them together until the yolks are thickened and pale yellow. If you have a hand mixer, you can mix them on medium speed instead, but there’s nothing wrong with burning a few extra calories and doing this step by hand.
Carefully fold the cooled, melted chocolate into the yolks.The idea is to keep the light texture of the yolks, so stir gently!
Add the almond flour and the citrus zest, if you’re using it, t to the chocolate bowl, and stir those in as well.
When you’re finished, you’ll have a tasty chocolate mixture with a slightly grainy texture from the almonds.
Remember our egg whites? Those are now ready to be mixed. Start beating them in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium-high speeds. Once they have started to hold soft peaks, gradually stream in the remaining 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and continue beating them until they hold firm peaks.
What you DON’T want to do is overbeat them until they’re stiff and crumbly. My favorite way to describe perfectly beaten egg whites is to look for the texture of shaving cream. The whites will have a lot of volume and hold their peaks well, but still have a soft, supple texture.
Gently fold 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the bowl of chocolate. This is called “the sacrifice” and it helps lighten the chocolate mixture so that the rest of the whites blend in easily and keep their airy texture in the finished cake. Once the whites are folded in, add the rest of the whites in two batches, again stirring gently.
Scrape the cake into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer.
Bake the cake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, just until it’s dry on top and has juuuust started to show a crack or two. (I prefer 35 minutes for a fudgier cake.) Let the cake cool completely at room temperature before unmolding it.
As it cools it will probably develop more cracks on top. This is fine. This is normal. If they bother you, you can add a cosmetic sprinkling of cocoa powder on top of the cake. I promise absolutely no one will be noticing the cracked top when you serve them this deliciously moist, tender, bursting-with-chocolate cake!
This flourless chocolate cake does provide a pretty intense chocolate dose, so I like to serve it with whipped cream and a fruit topping, to cut the richness and provide some different textures and flavors. You could also add chopped nuts on top, or coconut, or caramel sauce.
Because it is so moist and fudgy, this Passover cake keeps really well. Wrap it and store it at room temperature in an airtight container, and you can enjoy chocolate cake for up to a week…if it lasts that long.
Don’t miss these other Passover dessert recipes:
All text and images (c) Elizabeth LaBau