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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Torta Caprese (Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake)

The "Torta Caprese," is a flourless chocolate almond (or walnut) cake name from isle of Capri.  According to legend, it came about when a baker forgot to add flour to their almond cake recipe.  As a result, it has been called, "uno dei pasticci più fortunati della storia" (one of the most fortunate mistakes/pies in history).  What I find so interesting about that little quote is that "pasticci" means both "pies" and "mess / to make a mess of".  Well, if it was in fact created by accident, it is definitely what Bob Ross would call "a happy little mistake" because this is a delicious cake.  Made of only a few ingredients and topped with only powdered sugar, it is quite a simple recipe which I think is what gives it most of its appeal.  Buon Appetito!

Torta Caprese, adapted from epicurious

  • 1 3/4 sticks (7/8 cup) unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces almonds (I used slivered because it is what I had on hand)
  • 1 ounce walnuts
  • 6 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened) 
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • powdered sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350° F. 
Lightly butter a 10-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a The Smart Baker pre-cut 10" parchment paper round
Melt butter and cool. In a food processor finely grind together almonds, walnuts and chocolate. Separate eggs.
In a bowl with an electric mixer beat yolks with granulated sugar until very thick and pale.  Beat in nut/chocolate mixture and butter.
In another bowl with cleaned beaters beat whites with a pinch salt until they just hold stiff peaks and whisk one fourth into almond mixture. Fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly and spread batter evenly in pan.
Bake torte in middle of oven 40 - 50 minutes, or until it begins to pull away from side of pan and a tester comes out with moist crumbs adhering. Cool cake in the springform pan for 5 minutes, then, run a knife around the edge of the cake and open the springform.  Move to a cooling rack to cool completely. 
Dust torte with powdered sugar when cake comes to room temperature. 


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