It has been a little while since I participated in The Home Bakers group. Unfortunately as work and family commitments have ramped up, the blogging has taken a bit of a nosedive, so I missed the last coffee cake bake along. I thought I was set to miss this one too because it fell right in the midst of Passover and really, how was I supposed to make coffee cake from a regular cookbook during Passover?! But the chocolate and almond combo intrigued me since both chocolate and almonds are just fine during Passover, as were most of the ingredients in this delicious cake, so I just had to come up with a few modifications to make it kosher for Passover.
Fortunately, my changes did not alter the moist and flavorful composition of this light cake and it’s definitely a keeper for years to come. And don’t get me wrong, no need to be celebrating Passover to enjoy this cake. It’s a winner year round! The almonds add an interesting texture to an otherwise airy cake, which I think would be fantastic topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!
I started off by coating an 8-inch square pan with nonstick spray and a light coating of matzah cake meal. I toasted raw whole almonds at 325F for about 8 minutes, until fragrant then let cool slightly. Be careful not to let the almonds burn so you don’t end up with a bitter cake. Once cooled, I finely ground the almonds in a food processor and combined with finely chopped bittersweet chocolate and set aside.
Then I beat egg whites until foamy and added in salt and lemon juice (in lieu of the cream of tartar in the original recipe) and beat them until soft peaks formed. I added in brown sugar then beat the mixture until stiff peaks formed.
In a separate mixing bowl I beat the egg yolks until thick and pale then added in more brown sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. I stirred matzah cake meal into the almond/chocolate mixture, then folded it into the yolk mixture, then folded in the egg whites.
I spread the batter into the 8-inch pan and baked it at 325F for 35 minutes until it was cooked through and the top sprung back when lightly touched. I let it cool completely before cutting into pieces to serve. It was a welcomed addition at our seder and for the week to come! It lasted throughout Passover kept wrapped at room temperature.
Chocolate-Almond Souffle Cake (adapted from Coffee Cakes)
Yield: 1 8-inch square cake or 1 9-inch round cake
nonstick cooking spray
1 1/3 cups (5 1/2 ounces) slivered or raw whole almonds
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
6 large eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice (instead of the 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar in the original recipe)
2 tablespoons plus 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup matzah cake meal (instead of 1/2 cup all-purpose flour called for in the original recipe)
Please see Life Can Be Simple for the full directions for this recipe. Other than the pan size and ingredient modifications noted above I followed the recipe as written.