Kitchen Fun, Recipes
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Chocolate almond torte

Chocolate almond torte, dusted with powdered sugar

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.

Chocolate almond torte with strawberies, mint and mascarpone

Chocolate almond torte with strawberries, mint and mascarpone

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.

  1. 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.

    Bring eggs to room temperature quickly in bowl of warm water

    Bring eggs to room temperature quickly in bowl of warm water

  2. Chop the almonds in a food processor or blender. My blending stick came with this chopping bowl and makes quick work of the almonds. Unless I pay close attention, I end up with a fine meal like this in less than twenty seconds! Oops.

  3. 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.

    Crack eggs into a ramekin and add them one at a time to your mixing bowl or blender

    Crack eggs into a ramekin and add them one at a time to your mixing bowl or blender

  4. 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.

    Use an immersion, or stick, blender to mix the ingredients

    Use an immersion, or stick, blender to mix the 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.

Print off this star and cut it out for a quick stencil

For a quick stencil, print off this star and cut it out

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!

A YayYay's Kitchen Recipe

 

Chocolate Almond Torte Recipe

This delightfully simple, flour-less, chocolate treat comes from my much-thumbed cookbook, Fast Italian Meals by Emalee Chapman. After several decades, the torte remains a favorite recipe, and not the only one, from Chapman’s sweet little book. If you follow the link, you can check the digital form of the book out for free from Open Library.

Time and such

  • Servings: 8
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Bake time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 25 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Oven temp: 375º Fahrenheit (F)

Ingredients

  • 3 Lg eggs at room temperature
  • 2/3 C Whole almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 C Organic evaporated cane juice (granulated sugar)
  • 1/4 C Organic, Fair Trade powdered cocoa, sifted
  • 1-2 T Powdered sugar
  • Mascarpone and berries or other fresh fruit for garnish (optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit (F).
  2. Generously butter a small round cake pan or tart tin with removable bottom.
  3. Using a blender stick or blender, process eggs till light and frothy.
  4. Add chopped almonds and process until finely ground.
  5. Blend in sugar.
  6. Add sifted cocoa, one teaspoon at a time.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in center of oven for 12 minutes. When cake pulls away from sides of pan, it is ready. Do not over-bake!
  8. Let cake rest in pan for 4-5 minutes, then turn onto serving plate, or remove ring from tart pan.

Serve your torte warm or cooled. If warm, dust immediately before serving as the powdered sugar will melt into the torte. For a decorative touch, cut a star or snowflake stencil out of clean parchment paper, lay on cake and dust; remove paper carefully. For a little more flair, garnish with a dollop of mascarpone, a sliver or two of in-season fruit and a sprig of mint. Fabulous!

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.

Mascarpone, strawberries and chocolate almond torte, dusted with powdered sugar

Mascarpone, strawberries and chocolate almond torte, dusted with powdered sugar

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

 

Strawberries, mint and mascarpone with chocolate almond torte

Strawberries, mint and mascarpone with chocolate almond torte

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.

♥ ♥ ♥

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.

24 Comments

  1. Pingback: Friday 5: Real Food Recipes #4 | YayYay's Kitchen

  2. Monica says

    Looks delicious and easy to make (my favorite combination). Pinning for future use. Thanks, as always, for all the great to tips along the way, Kathryn!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Kathryn,
    Wow this sounds delicious and looks fabulous. What a great dessert this would make for Valentine’s day with the chocolate and I love the picture with the fresh strawberries & mint leaves. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & tweeted!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The tips for warming eggs and using a wet finger to get egg-shell out of egg are great (well, I haven’t tried them, but I assume they work). Now, to read about fair trade chocolate.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh. My. Goodness. I will have to try this one!

    Now I’m looking for the next family gathering to share this one because I don’t want to have the extra 6 portions hanging around tempting me. Please excuse me. I have to go run a dog around the park because I swear just imagining the delish taste caused me to gain 5 pounds.

    Liked by 1 person

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