08 Aug No-Bake Almond & Raspberry Double Chocolate Cake // Eff the Oven August
Welcome back to Eff the Oven August – one whole month of no-bake recipes!
Things are a little crazy around here today (my car sounds like a crying baby so it’s gotta go to the shop, and I’m supposed to drive 3 hours north to Dallas after work — typical) so I’m going to get straight to the dessert talk.
This No-Bake Almond & Raspberry Double Chocolate Cake is more of a giant truffle than it is an actual cake, but I figure you can put anything into a cylindrical mold, add chocolate and call it cake…right?
The bottom layer is a rich, whipped chocolate-espresso ganache, studded with roasted, slivered almonds. The top is a cross between a white chocolate mousse and a panna cotta, leaning towards the former, with fresh summer raspberries mixed throughout. The result is a delightfully complementary juxtaposition of textures and flavors. The dark chocolate espresso layer, dense and bitter, is balanced by the airy sweetness of the white chocolate and rounded out with a tart bite from the raspberries.
This recipe makes approximately 4 cups of “batter” (2 cups each of white & dark chocolate), which is enough to make a thinnish 8-inch cake but just a little too much to accurately fill two 3-inch springform pans.
If you’re not following, I’m telling you not to do what I did.
I made 2 mini cakes. I should have made 3. I even have 3 mini-spring forms. But it was late, I was in a hurry and I was determined to fit my “batter” into 2 pans. Some simple math would have saved me. But like I said, it was late. Maybe there was wine involved. Whatever.
All I’m saying is either a) do some measuring if you decide to use 3-inch springform pans, like mine OR b) just use a bigger pan, like a loaf pan lined with parchment or an 8-inch springform pan. Otherwise, you’ll be forced to eat the extra chocolate ganache by the spoonful, which I guess isn’t so bad so long as you aren’t planning on wearing a bikini this century. Technically, we could even call it chocolate gazpacho and bam, whole new blog post.
But I won’t do that to you. Or your love handles. Not that you have love handles. Shit. Digging myself in a hole here. Moving on…
You can totally customize the layers to include whatever little flavor nuggets you like. I used raspberries and almonds because they’re what I had on hand. I played with the idea of swirling some raspberry preserves into the white chocolate. I kinda wish I had. You definitely should. On that same train of thought, throw some peanut butter or hazelnut spread into the chocolate layer. Spike it with some booze, even. Suddenly, my version is feeling pretty boring.
Ok, I’m off to the auto shop and then Dallas for some wedding-dress-trying-on-entourage. You know what that means, champs on champs! Have a great weekend!!!
A few notes about this recipe:
The white chocolate batter ends up being much thinner than the dark chocolate layer — I’m assuming this is because of higher fat content — so I added gelatin to ensure it would set up firmly. If you’re not a white chocolate (or gelatin) fan you could go with milk chocolate or more dark chocolate and leave out the gelatin all together.
Grease the sides of the pan heavily, otherwise you’re going to have a lot of trouble removing the cake from the pan. Also, notice I keep saying springform — I don’t imagine you’d be able to get this out of a regular round pan at all, though you could just slice and scoop if necessary.
For the prettiest possible slices, I recommend freezing for 30 minutes before slicing with a sharp knife.
- 8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
- 8 oz. (1 cup) heavy cream
- 2 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, roasted
- 8 oz. white chocolate
- 8 oz. (1 cup) heavy cream
- 1 tbsp water
- 3/4 tsp gelatin
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- Grease an 8-inch springform pan or pan(s) of your choice. Line with parchment paper and set aside.
- For the dark chocolate layer, barely melt the dark chocolate in a microwaveable safe bowl. In a separate medium pan heat 4 oz. of the cream over gentle heat. Stir in espresso, almond extract and salt. When the cream is very warm, add the melted dark chocolate and stir until smooth. Set aside.
- For the white chocolate layer, pour gelatin over tablespoon of water and let set up for 5 minutes. While the gelatin is setting, melt the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and warm up 4oz of cream on the stove (same process as with the dark chocolate). Stir the gelatin into the cream, then add the white chocolate and stir again until smooth. Set aside.
- At this point you should have 8 oz. of heavy cream remaining. In a very cold metal bowl, whip the cream on high until stiff peaks form. Fold half of the whipped cream into the dark chocolate until well combined, then fold in the almonds. Next, fold the other half of the whipped cream into the white chocolate, then gently fold in the raspberries.
- To assemble, first pour the dark chocolate mixture into the prepared pan. Use a spatula to smooth the layer as much as possible and place in the refrigerator for 10-15 to set up. Once chilled, pour over the white chocolate layer, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled throughout, a few hours, or overnight.
- When ready to serve, dust with a bit of powdered sugar (this helps to cover any imperfections from removing the plastic wrap), and slice.