Unexpected deliciousness happens, it really does. Yesterday my family was having a few guests over and five minutes into grocery shopping for salad ingredients and fawning over ready made black forest cakes, my mother says, we haven’t even opened the almond flour I bought a month ago, why don’t we just make a cake ourselves? and before you could say presto-chango, we were back home hulling organic strawberries and melting chocolate in the microwave. We didn’t have any specific cake in mind so we decided to go with the classic eastern-European nut sponge that so many Balkan women know by heart. Sort a few eggwhites, add as many tablespoons of sugar as there are eggs, whip until stiff and fold in ground nuts. Boom. I think it goes against family tradition to closely adhere to baking guidelines anyway, especially as most of our family recipes don’t exactly explain things very well (bake until done? heat oven until hot? what?) so exact quantities are usually left to interpretation. Once the sponges were baked, we spread both cakes with melted chocolate, covered them with vanilla whipped cream and threw in a few strawberries. Simple, but overwhelmingly delicious. Too delicious in fact, to not share with the world. This recipe is rough around the edges, so feel free to change it up. We used strawberries but I’m sure it would be even more delicious with fresh raspberries. I used lactose-free whipped cream (#thereisagod) and Ikea dark chocolate (I kid you not, it’s super yum) as well as ready made almond flour from Costco. Give it a go! nobody will never know it only took an hour start-to-finish.
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 4 eggs, separated
- 2/3 cup almond flour
- 2 tsp. cream of tartar (to stiffen the egg-whites)
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate melted
- 1 cup strawberries (or other fruit), sliced into fours.
- 1 carton whipping cream (lactose-free or no), whipped
- 1 vanilla pod
– Pre-heat oven to 350. Line the bottoms of 2 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and butter sides
- Separate eggs, keeping egg yolks for another recipe.
- Whip egg-whites with sugar and cream of tartar until mixture is so thick, you can lift your bowl upside down and egg-whites won’t budge (aka, stiff peaks).
- Carefully fold in almonds until thoroughly combined and divide between pans.
- Bake until cakes are golden, set and a toothpick comes out easily (about 20 minutes, but different for every oven).
- Spread sponges with melted dark chocolate and let cool in the freezer for about 5 minutes.
- Whip cream with the vanilla until stiff.
- Cover one of the sponges with 1/3 of the whipped cream, add strawberry slices, another 1/3 of the whipped cream and cover with other sponge.
- Add a final layer whipped cream, decorate with strawberries and more chocolate drizzle.
- Let sit in the fridge until dinner is served.