Whenever I want a deeply decadent chocolate treat that is as quick as it is easy, this surprisingly simple, gluten-free Italian torte leaps to mind.
From start to finish, it takes less than thirty minutes, but it tastes like a baker’s specialty–and on the sandstone and limestone cliffs of Capri, it is. There, this devilish delight is known as Torta Capresi. Don’t you love the sound of that? It’s as fun to roll around on the tongue as this famous dessert is to make and to eat.
Surprise your sweetheart with a chocolate heart on Valentine’s Day. Serve it up fancy on a cake stand at a special luncheon or brunch. Or whip it up during the holidays for those family members who cannot abide pumpkin pie or who are on a gluten-free diet.
It takes less than ten minutes to stir up, twelve to bake, and a few more to cool enough to dress and serve.
Tips for making quick work of this torte
These are little time-saving tricks I’ve used over the years when making this torte and plenty of other recipes.
If you refrigerate your eggs, plan to set them out and bring them to room temperature. If you forget, or jump up to make it spur of the moment as I often do, set your eggs in a bowl of warm (not hot) water, until the water cools to room temperature. If you have time, repeat. If not, go ahead. Your torte won’t rise quite as high, but nearly so, and it will taste mighty good.
- Crack the eggs into a ramekin and add them one at a time to the mixing bowl. That way, if you get a little egg-shell in, it’s easy to get out with a moistened finger. Also, should you find a spoiled egg (Pee-yew!), you won’t risk contaminating the rest.
Use the stick (immersion) blender, or a regular blender, to mix the ingredients. If you have a stick blender like mine, with a chopping bowl and a mixing carafe, use the carafe to mix and pour your ingredients.
Need a stencil? You’re welcome to this one.
This recipe calls for dusting the torte with powdered sugar. I like to make it fancy with a stencil. Paper doilies work nicely, or you can print this graphic. I made it in just a few minutes using the Microsoft program Paint, which came with my computer.
A word about the chocolate
If I could choose only one organic ingredient in this recipe, it would be chocolate. Ever since I learned that much of the world’s chocolate is grown, harvested, and processed using child slave labor, I have not been able to eat a morsel that wasn’t organic and Fair Trade. If you would like to know more, this page, What is Fair Trade and Why Should We Care?, will get you started.
Okay then. On with the recipe!
About that mascarpone cream
If you’re Italian, you know all about this wonderful little cheese. But if it’s new to you, add this delightful condiment to your bag of foodie tricks. That’s it, there, that mound of creamy goodness in the white ramekin next to the strawberries.
Like Torte Capresi, mascarpone is all Italian, hailing from the Lombardy region at the top of the boot. The rich, creamy mascarpone in my local grocery stores comes from Italy in plastic tubs, similar to sour cream tubs. I’d rather not have to buy one-use tubs, but for now, when I need that particular citrus-infused flavor that only mascarpone can give, I indulge this guilty pleasure.
Dreams of Torta Capresi on Capri
Are you fortunate to have had the opportunity to try a Torta Caprese in Capri? I dream of sampling them in as many shops as possible there one day.
The Capri.com Insider Guide lists forty restaurants on the island where we might taste several dishes caprese, including this famous dessert. Have you visited any of them?
If you’ve been fortunate to experience the genuine article served, perhaps, on a balcony overlooking the white sandstone cliffs and blue, blue sea, I’d love to know how this recipe stacks up to it.
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Dear Readers: If you think you’ve seen this recipe before, you may well have. In November 2013, as a writer on the now-defunct site Squidoo, I first published this recipe under the user name graceonline. In August 2014, HubPages, where I am known as ecogranny, bought Squidoo. I opted to have my Squidoo pages, including this recipe, transferred to the new site. Now, in February 2016, I’ve brought it home–to YayYay’s Kitchen.