Sneak Preview: This Layered Chocolate Almond Cake with Chocolate Ganache and whipping cream is perfect for a special occasion. Chocolate curls take it over the top.
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Nothing beats this Chocolate Almond Cake for a celebration. Whipped cream and chocolate ganache 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, the texture is rather fudge-like.
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 1/2 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?
More recipes for chocolate lovers
If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula
Chocolate Almond Cake Recipe with Chocolate Ganache Filling
- 2 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
- ⅔ cup water
- ⅓ cup butter
- ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons Dutch cocoa
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon table or sea salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 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 degrees.
Making the cake:
- Prepare 2 pans by cutting waxed paper to fit into the bottom of each 6-inch cake pan.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in 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, 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 and then eggs–one egg at a time, mixing well between each egg.
- Pour 3/4 cup batter into each pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes 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.