Torta Caprese – Flourless Chocolate Cake

Torta Caprese Flourless Chocolate Cake

All over the Isle of Capri and along the Amalfi coast, I kept seeing these deep dark chocolate cakes, called Torta Caprese. More tempting than any siren, they called my name whenever I’d peep into pastry windows. Being the devout chocoholic that I am, I had to have a sample, or two. Like so many of the desserts of the Campania region, these are topped with a dusting of powdered sugar, just enough to brand my shirt or lap, and giving me the official sign of a sweet tooth.

Doing some research into the making of this cake and its history, I found that there are three different stories about how the Torta Caprese was invented. Two common threads in all the stories are that it was invented on the Isle of Capri, and the cake was an accident. A women making the cake for American gangsters got flustered and forgot to add flour, or a sous pastry chef working on no sleep mistook cocoa powder for flour. The last of the legends has a baker completely messing up the recipe and adding the almonds instead of flour. Whatever mistake was made to create it, we should all be glad it happened. Almond flavor blends perfectly with the chocolate. It’s dense, decadent, delicious and gluten free.

Torta Caprese chocolate cake from Capri

Restaurants serve it with a scoop of vanilla gelato, pastry shops serve it in a variety of ways. The richest way I found was with a layer of chocolate ganache on top, then a sprinkling of the requisite powdered sugar. Of my 15 favorite foods in Napoli, this is one is by far the easiest to make. I use two bowls, one to melt the chocolate and butter and another to mix all the ingredients, but this could easily be a one-bowl cake. It is my go-to dessert whenever I get a last-minute nvite and always when I know I have a fellow chocoholic to serve. Sometimes I add a simple dusting of powdered sugar, sometimes I top it with chocolate ganache, and when I really want to guild the lily, I add two sauces: the chocolate ganache and a salted butter caramel. I haven’t yet paired it, but I also know it would go well and be quite refreshing with a mint granita or raspberry sorbetto or granita. I hope you make it and let me know what you think.

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Torta Caprese
(makes one 9-inch cake)

9 ounces (255 g) good quality dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup (225 g) butter
1/4 cup (25 g) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/4 cup (250 g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups finely ground blanched and toasted almonds
6 medium-sized eggs, room temperature (If you use large eggs, use only 5 eggs in this recipe)

Preheat an oven to 310°F and line the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper.

Slowly melt the chocolate and butter over a double-boiler. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk together the melted chocolate mixture, the cocoa powder, almond extract and sugar until combined. Add the ground almonds and whisk until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, adding each egg after the first has been incorporated into the mixture. Pour the mixture into the spring form pan. Make sure the mixture is level and smooth on top. Bake for about 50 minutes. The cake will rise a bit and then fall back on itself once it cools. The baking time varies slightly depending on your oven, but the cake should be very moist in the center and dense once it cools. Cool before serving. Buon Appetito!

Torta Caprese


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Comments

  1. Scintilla
    October 14th

    Lovely pics, yummy cake… I forgot to add flour once too (to a sponge cake) but it turned out to be gunk. Not memorable for the right reasons. Thanks for this recipe!

  2. Jozee Pizzurro
    October 14th

    I just had a slice of this cake. I had no idea that is was flour free. It is absolutely divine. Next time, I will have it with either whipped cream or ice cream.

  3. Mary R
    October 14th

    Such a gorgeous description of the legends surrounding the cake… your pictures make me feel like I could reach out and dip my finger onto the powdered sugar for just a little taste!

  4. Erica
    October 14th

    can’t wait to try this. and lovely photos. yumm. i wonder if they make this in genova, where i will be for 5 weeks in a few days!! xo Erica

  5. Jamie
    October 15th

    What an amazing, perfect cake! This is similar to a local cake Le Baulois of the area outside of Nantes where I live that I have been considering trying to work out the recipe for (the only true known recipe is a guarded secret). Yours is elegant and the perfect texture! Fabulous recipe.

  6. Heavenly Housewife
    October 15th

    What a decadent looking cake, I’d love to stick a greedy fork into this LOL.
    *kisses8 HH

  7. Rebecca
    October 15th

    What a great-looking recipe!

  8. Peggy
    October 15th

    This definitely sounds amazing! It’s calling my name for sure!

  9. bigfatcook
    October 15th

    Looks so delicious! I could eat the whole cake. I think:)))
    Greets from BFC !!!!

  10. Jen Laceda
    October 19th

    looks yummy!!! we’ve had this cake in Capri also and it was delish!

  11. c
    November 11th

    We have not long returned from Naples..I had one of these cakes in a Gelateria with fesh cream…oh wow..its amazing..I have searched for and now found this recipe and will definately be making it tomorrow!!!

  12. Joshua
    November 25th

    I love the concept of having narrowed it down to only fifteen favourite fooods in Naples!
    I have one I picked up yesteray in Mergellina yesterday. We’ll cut into it tomorrow. Unlike the Pastiera and other amazing Neapolitan desserts, you can keep it for a few days before eating it, and you have to avoid storing it in the fridge.Love it

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    February 1st

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    Torta Caprese – Flourless Chocolate Cake from Capri – Food Lover’s Odyssey

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    February 6th

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    Torta Caprese – Flourless Chocolate Cake from Capri – Food Lover’s Odyssey

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    Torta Caprese – Flourless Chocolate Cake from Capri – Food Lover’s Odyssey

  16. Rhonda
    April 2nd

    Just made this and it is delicious! I would use less almond extract next time…maybe 1/2 tsp instead. Will make again soon!

  17. Rhonda
    April 23rd

    This cake is delicious! I used hazelnut flour instead of almond and I subbed the almond extract for vanilla. This is the second time I’ve made this cake, first time I followed the recipe but my 13 yr old didn’t like the almond extract flavor, hence the substitutions. So yummy with ice cream!!!

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