I’ve had chocolate on the brain lately. For days, I’ve thought about nothing but a dense chocolate cake. Maybe a thick gooey dark chocolate brownie. Ice cream with hot fudge sauce. A chocolate lava cake.
Dark chocolate, too.
Something downright sinful.
After days of want and turmoil, I finally decided on Torta Caprese, a flourless chocolate cake named after Capri, an island in Southern Italy in the region of Campania. In this recipe, finely ground almonds replace the flour and the six eggs form the dense body. It’s obviously a chocolate cake, but it’s sometimes known as a chocolate almond cake. I always think of it as a dense chocolate cake—that’s why I settled on making a Torta Caprese.
The torta can be made with either unsweetened bitter chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate. I have a large bag of semi-sweet baking morsels, so I used those today but normally I would use unsweetened bitter chocolate morsels and add a little extra sugar (about 1/4 a cup). I melted the semi-sweet chocolate morsels then added a bit of Americana, 2 tablespoons of Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate cocoa (we’re addicted to it here).
There are variations of this recipe, too. I’ve had Torta Caprese that’s a yellow cake with the chocolate chips left whole. It looks like an oversized chocolate chip cookie. You can also add a shot or two of chocolate or orange liqueur.
Here’s how I make Torta Caprese. Start by melting the chocolate morsels. Set them aside to cool. Pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites (I refrigerate the egg whites until I’m ready to use them).
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add egg yolks, cooled chocolate, dark chocolate cocoa, and almonds. Mix well. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, a couple of heaping spoonfuls (a wooden spoon) at a time.
The cake is baked in a 10-inch springform pan, a cheesecake pan, coated with baking spray (I use Baker’s Joy). You can also butter and flour the pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Baking spray seems like an easier choice.
Bake the torta at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer it to a cooking rack. Once the cake is completely cool, sprinkle confectioner’s sugar over the top.
I enjoy my cake with an ice-cold glass of skim milk. Yes, I know; it’s a contradiction—skim milk and chocolate cake. It works for me!
Torta Caprese Recipe
Prep time: 15m
Cook time: 45m
Yield: 1 cake
12 ounces almonds
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate cocoa
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 eggs, separated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray springform pan with baking spray or line with parchment paper.
In food processor, finely grind almonds. Melt chocolate and cool to room temperature.
Beat softened butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Add almonds, melted chocolate, and cocoa powder; mix well.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs whites with a mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold in eggs whites, a couple of heaping spoonfuls at a time.
Pour batter in pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Transfer cake to a wire rack and cool completely. Sprinkle confectioner’s sugar over top of cake.
This rich flourless chocolate cake is named after the southern Italian island of Capri.
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