delectable torta caprese

And finally the 3rd post of this series :
a day with a natural winemaker
cooking up and down on the West Coast
— torta caprese

Torta Caprese is one scrumptious Italian chocolate cake, of Neapolitan fame... and it's gluten-free to boot ! It was the sure winner of my West Coast cooking classes. Here's my recipe... or simply one of many varied recipes that I culled from the Internet and one of my favorite Italian recipe websites : Giallo Zafferano

TORTA CAPRESE - serves 8 - 10

300 gr | 10.5 oz whole almonds
250 gr 8.8 oz dark chocolate (75 - 80%)
250 gr | 8.8 oz unsalted butter, softened
150 gr | 5.3 oz blond cane sugar
50 gr | 1.75 oz powdered sugar
5 large eggs
Extra powdered sugar for dusting the cake

||| Lightly butter the bottom of a 26-cm (10-inch) cake pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper to size and place in the bottom of the pan. Generously butter then flour the sides of the pan.

||| Separate the egg whites from the yolks - just out of the refrigerator. Bring both to room temperature.

||| Preheat the oven to 180 ˚C (350 ˚F).

||| In a small coffee / herb grinder, grind the 50 grams of the sugar into a fine powder (you can use store bought powdered sugar if you prefer). Set aside.

||| Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and set aside to cool.

||| Chop the almonds into a chunky meal in a chopper.

||| Beat the butter and 150 grams of sugar together until pale white and fluffy. Add the eggs yolks one at a time, incorporating each before adding the next. Add the cooled melted chocolate and finally the coarsely chopped almonds.

||| Beat the egg whites along with a pinch of salt until beginning to foam. Slowly add the 50 gr of powdered sugar and continue beating into stiff peaks.

||| Stir a spoonful of egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it a bit. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. 

||| Pour the mixture into a cake pan and bake in the oven for 25 – 35 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake that just comes out clean is a sure sign of it being done. Please don’t over cook! Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Loosen the cake around the edges before turning it upside down onto a serving plate. Dust with a bit of powdered sugar and garnish with seasonal fruit. Suppose you could put a scoop of good vanilla ice cream on top of each slice.

note : As with many chocolate cakes, it's best to let it sit for a day before eating.

Enjoy !

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