Meet one of the most delicious and beloved of the Italian cakes: torta caprese. A gluten free Italian delicacy.
This amazing Italian cake was allegedly created in 1920 by chef Carmine di Fiore on the isle of Capri, along the neapolitan coast, to which it owes its name. Chef di Fiore forgot to put the required amount of flour inside the cake batter, only realising his mistake when the cake came out of the oven. Instead of being a complete disaster, it turned out to be deliciously moist and fudgy, with a slight crisp on the exterior.
Its main ingredients are chocolate, almonds, butter, sugar and eggs…it reminds me of my wonderful Nutty Forest confections.
It is so simple but so delicious, and here is my own easy recipe for you to try this classic Italian cake at home.
150 gr of ground almonds
110 gr caster sugar
100 gr butter
100 gr dark chocolate
15 gr cacao powder
162 gr of eggs (approx 3)
A pinch of salt
Icing sugar to garnish
- Start by gently heating your eggs, to make sure that they can be whipped to perfection: heat will create a larger number of air bubbles into your mix. This is how I like to do it: boil approximately 1 lt of water, pour in a wide bowl and add one full glass of cold water, place the eggs, still in their shells, inside this fairly hot water and wait at least 10 minutes.
- Melt the dark chocolate and the butter in a double boiler. As soon as the chocolate melts remove from the heat, being careful not to overheat it – it melts at only 40 C. Let it cool for a few minutes.
- Take the eggs out of the warm water, and crack them into the mixer bowl, checking their exact weight and then adjusting it to match the measurement.
- Add half of the sugar and start beating at medium-high speed for 2 minutes, then add the rest of the sugar and increase the speed to the maximum. Beat continuously for approximately 10 minutes. This is fundamental to ensure that the mixture is stable and ready to absorb the dry ingredients without collapsing.
- Heat the oven to 170 C with no fan, and mix the ground almond with the cacao together in a separate bowl.
- When the egg and sugar mixture is thoroughly whipped, gently tip in some of the dry ingredients and some of the melted chocolate and carefully fold them in with a spatula. Continue until it’s all combined, using circular motions, scraping the sides and stirring as little as possible. As soon as they are all combined transfer to the round mold which you would have previously buttered and floured.
- Cook at 170C for 35 to 40 minutes. Before removing from the oven check with a toothpick that the inside is cooked, keep for 10 minutes inside the switched off oven, transfer outside (a little loss of volume is normal, but if the centre collapses the cake is not cooked enough) and after another 10 minutes remove from the mould and let cool on a rack.
- Serve covered in icing sugar and enjoy.
Torta caprese is very popular and beloved and, with my easy recipe, I will assure you you will make no mistakes…unlike chef di Fiore. I guess all is well what starts ill but ends well.