the snow… and a flourless chocolate-almond torte ("torta caprese")
|January 12, 2010||Posted by ameliaps under almond, chocolate, dessert, winter|
…the snow came over the week-end, silent, white and peaceful.
We woke up to the awe of our blanketed patio. We put on mitts and gloves and went outside to play…all day. The sliding down the driveway was the fun-est we’ve had in a long time. We just used cookie sheets and plastic garbage can tops. After that there was the fire (hours of endless enchantment) and hot chocolate. Then came a warm candle-lit bath. Dinner was a warm and comforting meal…and I made a flourless chocolate-almond torte with lots of white confectioners’ sugar to coat it, very snow-like.
I had mentioned in my previous post that I plan on cooking more traditional Italian dishes and here’s one from my childhood. I grew up in Sorrento, Italy, on the other side of the Amalfi coast and right across from the island of Capri. This flourless chocolate-almond torte was invented in Capri (hence the name, “caprese”). It’s velvety and lush and chocolate-y. It has no flour and the almonds give it a wonderful crunch. I also add some cocoa for extra chocolate flavor and enhance the almond flavor with almond extract. It has a crunchy exterior and a very moist interior. We had half of it in the afternoon and after that I cut the rest with a small round cookie cutter to make mini-cakes and dusted them off again with confectioners sugar for the next day. Even a day after, it was as moist and delicious as the moment it came out of the oven. A crowd pleaser.
Flourless chocolate-almond torte (“torta caprese”)
6 oz. / 1 1/2 cups / 170 gr. almonds (peel on) – I used sliced
8 oz. / 200 gr. good quality dark chocolate (bittersweet, not unsweetened) – I used 66%
3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp / 200 gr. butter
1 cup / 200 gr. sugar
6 eggs, separated
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp almond extract
2 Tbsp liqueur (rum, coffee liqueur, or other)
Melt the chocolate and butter together (I do this in the microwave a couple of minutes, stirring in between).
Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar, then add to the first mixture.
Add the ground almonds, the baking powder, the cocoa powder, almond extract and the liqueur.
Finally, gently fold in the egg whites, whipped to foam.
Pour everything in the pan and bake about 45 to 50 minutes (do NOT overbake).
Allow to cool shortly then dust with confectioners’ sugar. You can be creative and do cut-outs to make shapes: I made a heart
The cake will sink in a bit in the center. That’ totally part of the plan!
To make mini cakes, use a round cookie cutter, then dust again with confectioners’ sugar.
They are like brownie bites…but miles better!!!
Here are my cuties, in the fairy dust sparkly snow of my patio: