Torta Caprese is a classic Italian cake that comes from Capri, Italy. Most Italian cakes are characteristically a bit dry, so I have tweaked it to my tastes. This sublime flourless chocolate almond cake is irresistibly moist with an intense chocolate taste. The use of both bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder adds to the deep, chocolate flavor. The use of almond flour makes the cake lighter than an American style flourless chocolate cake. It is delicious served plain or with whipped cream and fresh berries. But my favorite way to serve it is with Crème Anglaise. The cake is most often dusted with confectioners’ sugar, but I prefer a dusting of my favorite unsweetened cocoa powder – Droste Cacao. This is a perfect gluten-free dessert!
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I recommend Droste Cacao)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ teaspoon almond extract
- 5 large eggs, separated
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided in half
- 1½ cups fine almond flour (4.8 ounces) — see note for how to accurately measure without a scale
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Unsweetened cocoa powder or confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 300° convection.
- Lightly spray a 9” springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom with a parchment round.
- Melt the butter and chocolate together. I microwave at 50% power, stirring often. Or you can use a double boiler or a bowl set over hot water.
- After butter and chocolate have melted completely, remove from heat and stir in cocoa, vanilla, and almond extracts; set aside.
- Using stand mixer with whisk attachment, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high and continue to whip, slowly adding ½ cup sugar, until whites are glossy and thick and hold stiff peaks. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add egg yolks and remaining ½ cup sugar to now-empty mixer bowl (no need to wash it). Whip on medium-high until thick and pale yellow, scraping down bowl as needed. Add chocolate mixture and mix on medium until incorporated.
- Measure the almond flour accurately or weight it. Too much almond flour will result in a dry cake. Add almond flour and salt and mix to incorporate. Remove bowl and stir a few times with a rubber spatula to ensure flour is fully incorporated.
- Add a heaping cupful of whipped whites to bowl and stir together until no white streaks remain. This will loosen the batter so you can easily fold the remaining whites into the batter.
- Transfer batter to bowl with remaining whites. Gently fold (do not stir) whites into batter until no streaks of white remain.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth top and bake about 30 minutes. It is very important not to overbake the cake. Check it at 30 minutes. Using the toothpick test, test 1-2 inches from the center. Moist crumbs should remain on the toothpick. If it isn’t done, continue to check every 2 minutes.
- Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove sides of pan and let cool completely before removing bottom of pan.
- Dust cake with cocoa powder or confectioners’ sugar, if desired.