Chocolate Almond Cake (Torta Caprese)

Food neophobia is defined as the relucatance to try or the avoidance of new foods.  We all know at least one obnoxious person in our friendship group that’s like that.  I was food neophobic as a child.  It’s quite different from being a fussy eater because it’s not like I didn’t like many things, I just stuck to my favorites and never ventured out to trying anything remotely exotic.  Pizzas were always margherita, pastas were always the plain tomato sauce, and ice cream was always chocolate.  I did also go for vanilla and hazelnut at times but it was always in conjunction with chocolate ice cream.  I remember once being at my parents’ friends house in Italy, and the hosts’ daughter, along with my sister and I, were asked to go buy a few tubs of ice cream for everyone to share at the end of the meal.  On our way over to the shop the girl talked about how she loved melon flavored ice cream so we should definitely go for that.  Melon and also lemon, oh she loved her f*cking lemon ice cream.  I was shy and nervous, but my sister, understanding the situation,tried to suggest chocolate or hazelnut or vanilla as the last flavour but then the b*tch just said “let’s just go for all fruit flavors”.
imgp1635-copyYou know what was even worse?  We came back with her stupid fruit ice creams and her mother asked her “Were these shared decisions?  Did you let the other girls choose?” and she had the audacity to say YES.  We may have been young, she may have been, what, 7 or 8 years old, but those traits stay and I bet you she’s a nasty person today too.

Anyway.  Fortunately now I’m a neophile.  I love trying new foods and I’ve also grown to love fruit-flavored ice creams.  That girl and I will still never be friends but I’ve grown to like her ice cream choices.

So all this comes up to my Torta Caprese.   It’s my aunt’s recipe, and she’s this Italian woman with a magic touch that makes the most incredible food.  I know that there are hundreds of thousands of chocolate cakes out there on the world wide web, but this is genuinely one of my favorites.  It’s gluten-free, it’s made with almonds and it’s incredibly moist and rich.  The best part?  You can make this a few days in advance as it tastes better with time.  I wouldn’t leave it out for more than 4 days but it’s damn good before then.  I could not recommend this enough.  You know how a lot of recipes you find these days are titled “the best mac & cheese” or “the best blueberry muffins”.  If it wasn’t so obnoxious I’d title this as the best chocolate cake too.

300g almonds
250g dark chocolate, good quality
250g butter
7 eggs, separated
250g caster sugar
1 tbsp corn flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
6g baking powder

Preheat oven to 180C and line and grease a 26cm cake tin.

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and leave it to one side to cool.

Melt the butter over low heat, and leave it to one side to cool as well.

Put the almonds in a food processor and pulse until ground, it doesn’t have to be too finely ground, and in fact it’s quite nice to have some small chunks.

Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and frothy.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

When the chocolate has cooled down, mix it with the ground almonds and butter.  Fold in the egg yolk mixture.  Add corn flour, vanilla and baking powder.  Lastly, fold in the egg whites.
Bake for about 40 minutes.  Start checking at 30 minutes, it’s done when you insert a toothpick in it and it comes out clean.

Leave it overnight to cool.  Resist.  Trust me, it’s better the next day, even better two days later.  Dust with icing sugar and serve preferably with with whipped cream.

2 thoughts on “Chocolate Almond Cake (Torta Caprese)

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