Date, chocolate and almond dessert cake

Photographer: Emma

Over Easter my friend Sera was raving about a cake her mum makes and offered to share the recipe for this divine cake with me! So on arriving back to work after Easter and checking my emails, I was very excited to find she had generously sent the recipe to me!

This dessert cake is a twist on the traditional Kiwi Pavlova. The cake still has the same consistency of a traditional Pavlova, with the crispy, crunchy outer shell. But the addition of the chopped almonds, chocolate and dates means the inner is denser than the traditional light fluffy inner of a Pavlova. It is a great alternative to the traditional Pavlova that typically comes out over summer. Even though it to is served cold, it is a great treat as the temperature starts to drop, as during the cooking, the dates and chocolate melt through the cake, giving it a rich, sticky flavour and texture.

The first time I made this cake I was of course generous in my servings, but after the first few mouthfuls realised my eyes had been way too big for my stomach! A thin slice is ample to satisfy even the sweetest tooth, making this cake perfect for large groups.


2 cups whole almonds
250g dark or milk chocolate
6 egg whites
2 cups caster sugar
1 cup dates, pitted and finely chopped
300ml cream
½ sliced almonds to garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 160°C on bake. Grease and line a 25cm spring form tin.
2. Either chop or process the almonds until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Then roughly chop the chocolate, again with a knife or in the food processor and reserve a few tablespoons for garnish.
3. Beat the egg whites until really stiff and then add the sugar a teaspoon at a time until the mixture is thick and glossy. Fold through the chopped almonds, chocolate and dates and then spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 ½ hours. Cool in the tin before place on a serving plate.
4. Whip cream and spread generously over the top and then sprinkle with the reserved chocolate and the sliced almonds.