Chocolate Crackle Cake

Passover is my favorite excuse to bake decadently rich flourless chocolate cakes. This year, I wanted to lighten things up a bit, so I decided to add almond meal to my standard flourless chocolate cake. The result was a happy surprise. I call it my Chocolate Crackle Cake!

This dessert is a moist and delicious way to end the Seder meal. It’s also gluten free! The almond meal lightens up the texture, making it less dense and heavy than some other flourless chocolate cakes. The top will crackle a bit as the cake cools, creating a crispy sugar-dusted “shell” for the cake. A tart and refreshing raspberry coulis with a fresh raspberry and mint leaf garnish completes the dessert. Sounds fancy, but it’s not too complicated– promise!  :)

This is my last Passover recipe for 2011. On Friday, I’ll be posting a holiday recap with links to some of my favorite Passover recipes from the past two years. I hope these blog posts have been helpful to you as you plan your Seder menu and a week of Passover meals. Looking forward to doing it again next year. Sending you all a big hug from the heart of Israel!

Note: If making for Passover, make sure all ingredients are approved Kosher for Passover. If you can’t find Passover powdered sugar (aka confectioner’s sugar), you can easily make your own by combining 2/3 cup sugar with 1 tsp potato starch in a blender – blend on high speed until powdery.

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Chocolate Crackle Cake

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter or margarine
  • 9 oz. bittersweet chocolate (dairy or pareve)
  • 1/4 cup milk or unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond meal
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Coulis Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

You will also need

  • 9 or 10-inch spring form or cake pan, parchment paper, electric mixer
Prep Time: 45 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Servings: Serves 12-14
Kosher Key: Dairy or Pareve, Kosher for Passover
  • Note: If making pareve/dairy free, sub margarine, dairy free bittersweet chocolate, and unsweetened almond milk for dairy ingredients. If making for Passover, make sure all ingredients are approved Kosher for Passover. If you can't find Passover powdered sugar (aka confectioner's sugar), make your own by combining 2/3 cup sugar with 1 tsp potato starch in a blender - blend on high speed until powdery.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of your cake pan with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper and inner walls of the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Melt the butter or margarine in a saucepan over medium heat. Cut the chocolate into large chunks and add it to the pan. Stir until melted. Add milk or almond milk, vanilla and salt and stir until everything is melted together and smooth.
  • Remove from heat. Pour chocolate mixture into a large mixing bowl.
  • Separate the eggs. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites along with ½ cup of the sugar until soft peaks form.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with the other ¼ cup of the sugar till the mixture turns creamy and light yellow.
  • Break up any chunks in the blanched almond meal with a fork or your fingers, then fold the almond meal into the melted chocolate mixture.
  • Fold egg yolk mixture into the batter.
  • Fold half of the beaten egg whites into the batter, then fold the remaining egg whites until just combined.
  • Mixture should be light and airy from the egg whites. Do not over-mix. Fill prepared baking pan with chocolate cake batter. Smooth the surface of the cake with a spatula or spoon.
  • Place in the oven and bake the cake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and let it return to room temperature.
  • Cake will deflate slightly and the top of the cake will “crackle” as it cools. If you prefer a cold dessert, chill cake in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Before serving, dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar.
  • TO MAKE RASPBERRY COULIS: Combine raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a food processor and puree ingredients together.
  • Strain mixture into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down on the solid ingredients and agitating the mixture to extract as much syrupy juice as possible.
  • Dispose of the solids. The syrup is your coulis.
  • Store coulis in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
  • Use a long sharp knife to cut the cake. Place each slice on a dessert plate drizzled with raspberry coulis, garnished with fresh raspberries and mint leaves.

 

Comments (45)Post a Comment

  1. Thanks….I bought Almond meal at Trader Joe’s and wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. I’ll give this a go and let you know!

    1. Please let me know how it turns out for you Elaine!

      Erin, almond meal is super easy to make yourself. Here’s the method:

      link to food.com

      I haven’t tried this recipe subbing regular flour and I don’t want to steer you wrong… if I am able to test it with flour after Passover I’ll comment back here on the blog. :)

  2. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Sounds delicious! If you don’t have (easy) access to almond meal, what might you substitute? For a non-Passover dessert, would a 1-to-1 substitution of all-purpose flour work?

    1. Pearl, there are instructions for making blanched almond meal here:

      link to food.com

      You can also find it at many health food stores and chef’s supply stores. It’s becoming more and more common as a GF alternative to flour. If you need a certified Kosher for Passover version, your best bet is to make your own. It’s easy to make and much cheaper than the packaged variety.

  3. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Oh, my goodness. It’s such a lovely cake and your presentation is wonderful!! I’m not Jewish, but I love to try other cultures’ foods. Several of yours have made into my cookbook. Please keep up the awesome things that you do; I’ll be waiting. Thanks!!

  4. I meant almond meal – sorry! As soon as I posted it, I realized the mistake. I was thinking of the post where someone asked if they could substitute flour and thus the confusion. Thanks again

    1. Hi Anita! This recipe is a modification from my basic flourless chocolate cake recipe, which actually contains no almond meal– it’s similar to this cake, but much richer than the almond meal version. I’d be happy to email the basic flourless cake recipe to you, but I’m in Israel right now and don’t have my recipe files with me. If you’re still interested, comment me and let me know… I’ll be sure to send it to you when I return to the U.S. :)

  5. Hey! I am also a shiksa in the kitchen and I’m planning to make this cake for tomorrow night’s seder. My question: because I am kind of lazy I don’t want to blanch the almonds. Will this recipe still be okay if I make the almond meal straight without blanching first?? I am enjoying your blog which I just found yesterday.

    1. Janelle– should be fine, just make sure you break apart any of the clumps. Blanched almond meal is a bit more refined, but with all of that melted chocolate the texture should be about the same. Let me know how it turns out for you! Happy Passover. :)

  6. Is it possible to make this cake ahead and to freeze it? if freezing is a problem, can i make it two days ahead? thanks!!

  7. My son is allergic to nuts but I would like to make this for Passover. What do you suggest>
    Thank you,

    Susan

    1. Hi Bettina– it depends. Are you making this for Passover? Mocha Mix is kosher, I believe, but it contains soy and corn, both of which are considered kitniyot. Many Ashkenazi Jews will not eat kitniyot during Passover. So, it would depend on how strict you and your family keep kosher for Passover. If you’re not making the cake for Passover, Mocha Mix would be a perfectly acceptable sub!

  8. I will be making this for the first night of Passover! Can’t wait to try it. Thank you for the recipe. Will let you know how it turns out!

  9. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    the recipe looks fantastic! just wondering if i can use matzah cake meal instead of almond meal (bc of allergies)? thanks so much and chag sameach!

    1. Hi Michelle– You know, I’ve never tried this particular cake with matzo cake meal, but I’m guessing it would work just fine as a sub– it will no longer be gluten free, though. If that’s not an issue, go for it! It should be fine. And please let me know how it turns out for you. Chag sameach to you and yours!

  10. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I Just discovered your site about an hour ago and am thoroughly enjoying recipe hopping here. I was planning to make a very similar recipe for a chocolate torte in the morning, but yours sounds yummier and is more detailed. Will ground almonds be ok to sub for the meal do you think? I have everything else it is just that element I am concerned about. Chag Sameach!

    1. Chag Sameach Nicola! Do you have a food processor? Are the ground almonds blanched (no skin)? If yes, then you can make your own almond meal by pulsing the ground almonds into a fine powder in the processor. Just make sure you don’t over process, or you’ll end up with almond butter!

  11. Mitsuyan! That is what I was planning to do, using a coffe grinder to get the consistancy, Thanks for reminding me not to take them too far…PB is not on the menu!
    Toda Raba ve B’shana haba’a….
    Lehitraot.

  12. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I made this cake today with my ten year old daughter for Passover. It looked exactly like the photo, and was absolutely fabulous! Everyone loved it, and my daughter and I had a great time baking it. It was so easy and delicious. Thank you!

  13. Shalom Tori,
    The cake was delicious, was like a fudgey brownie. Seder was at my sister in laws house, so I left the cake in the baking tin and plated it there. Served it with strawberries, though (for a dairy meal) a thin vanilla sauce would have been tasty with it I think. Thanks for the recipe, so happy I found your site.
    Shavua Tova.

  14. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Made this cake and the coulis for my birthday which fell on Passover this year – absolutely delicious! I will be making this again soon – not during Passover – it is that good!

  15. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Great recipe. I used the Trader Joe’s almond meal (which was suggested in an earlier post) and the raspberries looked nasty at our market, so I used strawberries.

    I made this along with the Pecan Apple pie and and they were both hits. It was so good, I’m going to make this again soon, because I have leftover almond meal, but I’m not going to make it Pareve. I think regular milk and butter will round it out a bit more.

    I so look forward to your weekly emails! I’m going to try your Smoked Papriks Chicken soon!

  16. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I really enjoy the layout of your site, it’s so easy to find things. And every recipe of yours that I’ve tried has been just great. I’m making this one for my gluten free girlfriend this weekend, and I know it will be great because your recipes are always great. Thank you!

  17. Dear Tori,
    I saw this recipe from your passover menu suggestion and I would love to try this cake for passover – however it seems your recipe is dairy even with almond milk (which is not dairy actually, but they sell it with OU,D – because made on heated equipment also used for dairy products – so that makes it a problem… :( ….) and because on passover eve we eat meat and keep kosher this makes it a problem. Maybe you could let me know what is best to use as substitute instead?!? – thanks!!!

  18. I revise my last msg…. I was just advised by a friend that there are also pareve printed kosher almond milk to find… sorry about that – just hope that they are also kosher for passover :)

    1. Hi Val, yes there are many Pareve almonds milks out there. My favorite is 365 brand from Whole Foods, but I don’t think they’ll have a Passover hechsher 365 and some other brands are recommended by the OU without the P hechsher for children or the infirm, if bought before Passover:

      link to oukosher.org

      I believe that Lieber’s came out with a Passover hechsher almond milk last year, they may do it again this year. I’ll update this thread if I see it or any other Passover almond milks out there this year. My family isn’t kosher, so I’m not worried about a P hechsher, but I do shop the kosher markets regularly so I’ll keep an eye out for it.

      The other alternative, of course, is to make your own almond milk. It’s not very difficult at all, just Google “how to make almond milk” and you’ll get many options. I should probably blog about the process, I’m guessing it would be of interest to my Passover readers.

  19. I wondering if I could freeze this? We are going out of town for the first night of Passover and I would love to make this ahead of time for the second night.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Laurie, I’ve never frozen this cake so I’m not sure how it will turn out. It would probably be fine, but I don’t like to make any promises till I’ve tried it myself. The top “shell” of the cake is somewhat delicate, which may be problematic when defrosting freezing… I can’t say for certain.

  20. I made this cake for Passover…it was HEAVENLY! Your instructions made it easy to get this cake right the first time. Thank you! This is now my “go to” cake!

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