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torta caprese- chocolate almond tart with orange whipped cream

What I love about a Torta Caprese, is that like so many Italian desserts, it is not too sweet and the consistency of the cake is not overly dense or rich.

Rather than a wheat flour the cake takes almond flour, or almond meal, and “rises” through the use of egg whites rather than baking soda or powder.  When mixing the chocolate and almond batter into egg whites, the key is to work quickly and very gently to assure optimal aeration.

As with any recipe requiring the separation of egg whites and egg yolks, you will find it requires juggling around with a few bowls.

You can make the cake up to three days ahead if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap (cling film).

torta caprese- chocolate almond tart with orange whipped cream

What I love about a Torta Caprese, is that like so many Italian desserts, it is not too sweet and the consistency of the cake is not overly dense or rich.

Rather than a wheat flour the cake takes almond flour, or almond meal, and “rises” through the use of egg whites rather than baking soda or powder.  When mixing the chocolate and almond batter into egg whites, the key is to work quickly and very gently to assure optimal aeration.

As with any recipe requiring the separation of egg whites and egg yolks, you will find it requires juggling around with a few bowls.

You can make the cake up to three days ahead if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap (cling film).

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Ingredients

Recipe serves: 8-12
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar, divided
2 cups (7 ounces) almond flour
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
confectionary sugar, for dusting
orange whipped cream
orange whipped cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon orange flavoring or Cointreau
1/4 teaspoon grated orange
1/2 teaspoon confectioners sugar
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thoughts&stories

The Torta Caprese was created on the Island of Capri– hence the “caprese” in its name.  Rumor has it the cake was made in one of the local hotels in order to appeal to tourists, who fell in love with its simple flavors– hard to go wrong with chocolate and almonds?

You may also recognize the word “caprese” from the Italian tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil salad.  Capri is known for producing some of the best tomatoes and basil in Italy– the mozzarella being imported.

 

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torta caprese- chocolate almond tart with orange whipped cream
  • time
    1 hour 15 minutes, 2 hours cooling
  • serves
    8
  • skill level
    Medium

Ingredients

  • orange whipped cream

Directions

1
Done

Preheat oven to 325F (165C) degrees and place rack in the middle of the oven.

2
Done

Lightly spray 9-inch springform pan to prevent sticking.

3
Done

In a saucepan over a larger saucepan full of water, or a double boiler, melt butter and chocolate in medium bowl, stirring often, until melted, 2-4 minutes. Stir in vanilla and set aside.

4
Done

In a standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute.

5
Done

Increase speed to medium-high and continue to whip, slowly adding ½ cup granulated sugar, until whites are glossy and thick and hold stiff peaks, about 2-3 minutes longer.

6
Done

Transfer whites to large bowl.

7
Done

Add egg yolks and remaining ½ cup granulated sugar to mixer bowl, you do not need to clean out. Whip on medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as necessary.

8
Done

Add chocolate mixture and mix on medium speed until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Then add in almond flour, cocoa, and salt and mix until incorporated, about 30 seconds. It will be very thick.

9
Done

Remove bowl from mixer and stir few times with large rubber spatula, scraping bottom of bowl to ensure almond flour is fully incorporated.

10
Done

Add one-third of whipped egg whites to bowl, return bowl to mixer, and mix on medium speed until no streaks of white remain, 30 seconds, scraping down bowl halfway through mixing.

11
Done

Put the chocolate/almond mixture into the bowl with remaining whites. Using large spatula, gently fold egg whites into batter until no bits of white remain. Now the mixture will be thinner and easier to mix.

12
Done

Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth top and place pan on rimmed baking sheet.

13
Done

Bake for 50 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.

14
Done

Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove side of pan and let cake cool completely, about 2 hours.

15
Done

Cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

16
Done

orange whipped cream

Put heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment, add the orange extract or Cointreau and orange zest. Whisk on low and the move the higher setting until soft peaks are formed. It should take 2-3 minutes.

17
Done

When ready to serve top of cake with confectioners' sugar.

18
Done

Transfer cake to serving platter. Cut into wedges and serve with a dollop of orange whipped cream. Option to grate some orange zest over the entire plate for added color.