This not-too-sweet cake is fudgy and dark with an almost pudding-like interior. It is a dense and gluten-free chocolate cake with a subtle floral note of rose water and the sweet tang of raspberry jam. Rose water can get strong fast, so be sure to taste as you go. It’s available in specialty, Middle Eastern, and Indian markets. The cake is worthy of your best-quality chocolate but semi-sweet chocolate chips will work fine. It is very rich when topped with whipped cream. It is suitable for Passover if made with kosher-for-Passover–certified ingredients.
1/2 cup unsalted butter or vegan stick margarine, plus more for the pan
10 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs, divided
11/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup almond flour
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/2 to 1 teaspoon rose water
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar or additional unsweetened cocoa, optional
Whipped cream topping, optional
Raspberries or sliced strawberries for garnish, optional
Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch spring form pan with butter. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the paper.
Cut the butter into cubes. In a 7- to 8-inch heatproof mixing bowl, combine the butter and chocolate.
Put a few inches of water in the bottom of a 5- to 6-inch saucepan and place the bowl over it. Water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. (Or use a double boiler.) Bring the pan of water to a simmer over medium heat. Turn the heat to low and stir occasionally until the mixture is melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but leave the pan and bowl in place.
Separate 4 eggs. In a medium bowl, whip the whites with an electric hand or stand mixer until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat the yolks, remaining 2 eggs, sugar, vanilla, cocoa, and almond flour until smooth. Working in batches, fold the chocolate mixture into the almond flour mixture. And again, working in batches, gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is somewhat firm and springs back to the touch. (The cake will still be wet and fudgy inside.) Let cool in the pan. Remove the sides, invert onto a plate, and remove the bottom of pan and the parchment. Using a long, serrated knife, gently cut the cake in half horizontally, creating two layers.
In a small bowl, mix together the jam with 1/2 teaspoon of rose water. Taste, and add additional rose water, if desired. Place one cake layer cut side up on a platter. Spread it with jam, place the second layer on top cut side down. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar or spread with whipped cream (if using). Decorate with raspberries (if using).
NOTE: To make whipped cream topping, in a large bowl, whip 1/2 pint heavy cream with 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon rose water with an electric hand or stand mixer until soft peaks form. Taste, and add more rose water, if desired.
For best results, slice into layers only when totally cool or even chilled.
Recipe adapted from 52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen (The Collective Book Studio).
Header image design by Orly Zebak. Photographs of the flourless chocolate berry cake courtesy of Faith Kramer.
Faith Kramer is the author of 52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen (The Collective Book Studio) and a columnist for the J, the Jewish News of Northern California. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.