The famous dessert of the Island of Capri I've found, over the years of making this cake, is extremely forgiving. The almond meal, butter, chocolate and sugar should be equal in weight. This is the time to get out the digital scale, as it makes not only preparing this but also remembering it later so easy. I've done this with 85 grams of each and 3 eggs. Or 250 grams of each and 5-6 eggs. Once I only had 125 grams of almond meal and I simply used that as the proportion for the rest of the ingredients, along with 3 eggs. They only change the cake a little in height and size, but each has come out smooth and moist, almost fudgy. And, in fact, the last measurement is my favorite because in an 8 inch round pan, it comes out just over an inch tall, which I think makes for a good-sized sliver.
If you like, you can add a splash of rum, some lemon or orange zest or (reminiscent of Elizabeth David's chocolate and almond cake, which closely resembles torta caprese) and a dash of strong coffee.
You can also double these ingredients and bake them in a 10 inch pan for a slightly larger cake. —Emiko
Watch This Recipe
Torta Caprese (Chocolate and Almond Flourless Cake)
Grease and line a 20 cm or 8 inch round cake tin with baking paper (I like to use a springform tin or one with a removable base for this delicate cake) and preheat oven to 160ºC or 320ºF.
If using whole blanched almonds, blitz them to a very fine, sandy texture in a food processor. Set aside.
Place the chocolate, broken up, in a metal or glass bowl set over a bain marie (double broiler, or a pot of simmering water). When melted, remove the bowl from the heat and add the butter, stirring with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula to help it melt. Then add the sugar and the almond meal.
Once the mixture is no longer hot, add the egg yolks and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. If adding any further ingredients (orange zest, rum, etc), stir them in now.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with beaters to soft, fluffy peaks. Fold the whites gently through the chocolate and almond batter.
Pour the batter into the cake tin, smooth over the top and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the top appears dry and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs attached (not wet batter). It is important not to overcook this cake so that it retains its wonderful moist consistency. Let cool completely in the tin before handling.
Dust with powdered sugar and, if desired, some lightly whipped cream. This cake keeps well for several days and is even better the next day.
The Australian-Japanese cookbook author has lived in Florence (where a visit to a cheese farm once inspired her to start a food blog) for over 10 years with her Tuscan sommelier husband and two kids. Her third cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight, is out now.