Gluten-Free Almond Torte With Ganache & Salted Caramel
- Prep time 1 hour 40 minutes
- Cook time 1 hour
- makes 1 (9-inch) cake
The texture of this dense almond torte catches you off guard. The torte itself is incredibly moist with a soft bite, and the topping of dark chocolate ganache plus drizzle of salted caramel make the whole dessert almost resemble a very dressed-up Almond Joy (though there is no coconut in sight!).
While this torte does happen to be gluten-free, it is by no means lacking for a feeling of indulgence. A generous amount of butter lends a rich dairy flavor and four eggs keep the torte moist (and almost custardy). Both chocolate and caramel toppings offer even more decadence without feeling overly rich or heavy. This torte is perfect for any special occasion and will be popular among the gluten-free and gluten-friendly alike.
In this recipe in particular, it’s very important that all the ingredients are at room temperature. The torte includes no chemical leaveners but relies exclusively on the creaming process to provide structure. Cold ingredients will cause the butter in the batter to seize up, and any air that was incorporated during the creaming process will be quickly lost. Using room-temperature eggs will keep the batter light and fluffy. To quickly warm up fridge-cold eggs, place them in a bowl of warm tap water for 10 minutes. Also, you may be (correctly) storing your almond meal in the freezer, so make sure to take it out a few hours before you begin mixing the batter.
If you want to make this cake dairy-free, use a vegan butter, like Miyoko’s, in the torte, and oat creamer or full-fat coconut milk in the ganache and caramel.
For the torte:
(175 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
(200 grams) granulated sugar
large eggs, at room temperature
(200 grams) almond meal
For the caramel sauce:
(100 grams) granulated sugar
(120 grams) heavy cream
For the ganache:
(56 grams) dark chocolate, chopped
(60 grams) heavy cream
Flaky salt, for topping (optional)
Toasted sliced almonds, for topping (optional)
- Heat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 9-inch pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
- Make the torte: In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a mixing bowl and using an electric hand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and salt together on medium-high speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition, and taking care to scrape the sides of the bowl often. After all the eggs have been added, add the vanilla extract and continue mixing on medium-high speed until the mixture is fully homogeneous and slightly fluffy. Add the almond meal and mix on medium-speed until fully combined. The batter should be very thick.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to level out the batter. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely before glazing, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce: Heat sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar begins to melt, 3 to 5 minutes. Use a heatproof spatula to gently stir the sugar occasionally until it has completely melted and turned an amber color. Keep cooking the melted sugar until it turns a deep caramel color and begins to lightly smoke. Reduce the heat to low and begin to very slowly and gradually pour in the cream a little bit at a time, stirring as you go. Use extreme caution here as the mixture will initially bubble violently and release hot steam. Once all the cream has been added, stir in the salt and transfer the caramel sauce to a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use; it will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. (Note that this recipe makes more than you will need for topping the cake, save leftover caramel for topping ice cream or other desserts.)
- Make the chocolate ganache glaze: Place chocolate in a small mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the cream boils, pour it over the chopped chocolate and let stand for one minute before stirring together until dark and glossy. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. Set aside to cool for about 20 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
- When the cake has cooled, pour the ganache over the surface of the cake and use a spatula to spread it just to the edges. Allow the ganache to set. Just before serving, use a spoon to generously drizzle the cake with caramel sauce. Sprinkle with flaky salt and toasted sliced almonds, if using. Offer extra caramel sauce at the table should anyone want a touch more.
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