This delicious chocolate cake is all about textures. A crisp, cookie-like base, a layer of gooey jam, a soft, moist chocolate cake, topped with crunchy flaked almonds and granulated sugar. Served with a dollop of whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it’s a dessert to write home about!
Believe it or not, the idea for this chocolate extravaganza actually started out with a recipe for Armenian nutmeg cake. I didn’t want to use nutmeg because the kids are a bit bored of the spice cake thing, so I thought about vanilla cake using the same recipe, then added the jam, then the cocoa and sour cream… and it went from there, with three versions made and tested before the recipe was perfect.
Makes 1 x 23 – 24cm (9 – 10″) cake
Preparation 20 minutes
Baking 50 – 55 minutes
Cooling 2 – 3 hours
280g (2 cups, scooped or spooned and tapped on the counter) all-purpose (plain) flour
400g (2 cups packed) dark brown sugar
55g (2/3 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
170g (3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced
6 Tbsp strawberry or raspberry jam
2 large eggs
200g (4/5 cup) sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp flaked almonds
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F) and grease and line the base and sides of a 23 – 24cm (9 – 10″) spring-form cake pan.
Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. If your brown sugar is very moist, you will need to rub it into the flour to get rid of lumps.
Add the diced butter and rub it in with your fingertips until you have a soft, crumbly texture.
Tip about a third of the mixture into the pan and press it into a base using your fingers.
Spread the bottom layer with jam.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes with an electric hand mixer, then beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract.
Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until smooth.
Pour the batter over the base in the pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with flaked almonds then sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake in centre of oven for 50 – 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with just moist crumbs.
Allow to cool completely in the pan, then remove to a serving plate.
Serve with a dollop of cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.