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Torta caprese often trades on cloying fudge-like density and one-note chocolate flavor

Steve Dunn, America's Test Kitchen on

Torta caprese is an Italian flourless chocolate cake that contains finely ground almonds, which subtly break up the fudgy crumb. Our version of torta caprese contains melted butter and bittersweet chocolate as well as vanilla, cocoa powder, and salt that boost the chocolate’s complexity.

Instead of grinding almonds in a food processor, we use commercial almond flour (commercial “almond meal,” which may or may not be made from skin-on nuts, also works well).

All flourless cakes are aerated with whipped eggs instead of chemical leaveners, and we found that whipping the whites and yolks separately in a stand mixer, each with half the sugar, created strong, stable egg foams that lightened the rich, heavy batter and prevented it from collapsing after baking.

Dusted with powdered sugar and served with almond- or orange-infused whipped cream, torta caprese is ideal for entertaining. It also tastes great the next day, so it’s an excellent make-ahead dessert.

Torta Caprese

Serves 12 to 14

 

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces

6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs, separated

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