Sneak Preview: This Chocolate Almond Torte with almond-studded chocolate ganache and whipping cream is perfect for a special occasion and one of the best versions I’ve ever made. Chocolate curls take it over the top but leave them out if you’re not up to it.
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Nothing beats this chocolate almond torte for a celebration. Whipped cream and chocolate ganache studded with almonds fill the layers and cover the top. Because I use 6-inch cake pans, I call it a mini-layer cake.
I made this cake during our first year of marriage when I was anxious to impress and willing to try baking anything we could afford. It was a winner and has always been one of my mom’s favorites.
When chilled, this torte has a rich and fudgy texture. The chocolate ganache is silky smooth and holds the almonds in place.
The chocolate ganache is a recipe I borrowed from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking. Please note the amount of ganache is probably more than you need unless you substitute the ganache for the whipped cream between the second and third layers.
Regarding the cream layer: Fresh, sweetened whipping cream is the best, but frozen whipped topping such as Cool Whip holds up better if you want to make it a day ahead–which I recommend.
Why use smaller cake pans?
In the past, I used four 8-inch cake pans. It produced a cake big enough to feed 47 and a half people, or if you really want to know, 8 people and me–for 10 days afterward. Not good.
Then I discovered 6-inch cake pans, and I started cutting my cake recipes in half.
So this is half the original recipe. If you don’t already have the smaller pans, check the internet, a restaurant supply, or a crafts store in the cake-baking section.
If you think they are too expensive, consider how much you would pay to lose a few pounds. (I ask myself this question often when considering the financial aspect of buying something that will help me stay healthy, e.g. a gym membership or a vacuum-pack machine so I can pack salad in a jar ).
Are you sure it’s not worth it?
Ingredients and common substitutions:
- Chocolate: Use unsweetened chocolate in the cake. The Dutch cocoa powder specified in the recipe pumps up the chocolate flavor and deepens the color. Semi-sweet chocolate is specified for the ganache. Substitute bittersweet chocolate for less sweetness if you prefer.
- Butter: Use salted or unsalted butter. Margarine or vegan butter could be substituted.
- Flour: I use unbleached all-purpose flour, but bleached flour is also appropriate. I have not experimented with almond flour so this cake would be gluten-free.
- Eggs: I always use large eggs in my recipes. This recipe does NOT call for separating eggs into egg whites or egg yolks. It’s easy enough for my grandkids to put together.
- Vanilla Extract: Use a good vanilla extract. If you don’t have any, add ¼ teaspoon of almond extract instead.
- Almonds: I like sliced almonds in the ganache filling as opposed to slivered almonds.
- Whipped Cream: Heavy or Whipping Cream (dairy) tastes the best. To sweeten it, added ¼ cup of powdered sugar to one cup of whipping cream as it starts to thicken. Add a teaspoon of vanilla, if desired. If you anticipate leftovers or don’t want to mess with whipping cream, a whipped topping such as “Cool Whip” will suffice.
Frequently Asked Questions:
It’s not always a simple 1:1 ratio. Almond flour doesn’t have the same binding qualities as wheat flour and it tends to absorb more liquid. In my experience, the texture will be coarse.
They can be a little tricky. That means when you make some good ones, you’re going to be downright proud of yourself. I make them according to Pioneer Woman’s instructions for how to make chocolate curls.
If you need to serve more people, double this recipe and use 9-inch cake pans.
Yes. Any time you used whipped topping or fresh whipped cream, store the cake in your refrigerator.
Parting thoughts: Imagine yourself carrying this cake out of the kitchen and setting it on the table in front of everybody. It looks and tastes fancy, but won’t take you long to put together.
If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately for a quick answer: Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon!
Chocolate Almond Torte Recipe with Chocolate Ganache Filling
- 2 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
- ⅔ cup water
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter
- ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons Dutch cocoa powder
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon table or sea salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter - room temperature
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- Sweetened Whipped Cream - or Whipped Topping such as Cool Whip
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Making the torte:
- Prepare two pans by cutting waxed paper to fit into the bottom of each 6-inch cake pan.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and place it into a medium-size mixing bowl. Heat water and butter in a 2-cup pyrex cup for 1 minute, 30 seconds in the microwave, or until it starts to boil. Pour over chocolate pieces and allow them to sit until chocolate is melted.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
- Use a hand mixer or whisk to mix the melted chocolate mixture until smooth. Add sifted dry ingredients and continue mixing.
- Add vanilla extract and then eggs–one egg at a time, mixing well between each egg.
- Pour ¾ cup of batter into each 6-inch pan.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 12 minutes at 350˚F or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool about 10 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a cooling rack. Pull the waxed paper off the bottom.
Making the chocolate ganache:
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl.
- Heat whipping cream to a boil and pour half over the chocolate. Allow to sit 30 seconds to melt chocolate. Stir in small circles, slowly, starting in the middle and make bigger and bigger circles.
- Pour in the rest of the cream and stir until mixed in.
- Stir in soft butter (divided into 4 pieces) one piece at a time.
- Add almonds and stir until mixed.
- Refrigerate until thickened–approximately 15-20 minutes.
- This will likely make more than you need, but I trust you have some spare graham crackers around that could use a little something extra. 🙂
Assembling the torte:
- Split the two cakes in half horizontally.
- Spread ganache on top of the first layer.
- Place the second layer of cake next and cover with whipped cream (or ganache if you prefer).
- Now place the third layer, more ganache, and finally, the fourth layer. Cover top layer with whipping cream and garnish with chocolate curls, if desired.
- Chill at least a couple of hours before serving.