To me, chocolate represents everything good in life. It has helped me through my darkest hours, given me clarity when I am indecisive, and won hearts when it counts.
That is why I cannot imagine Valentine’s Day without chocolate. Whether you are wooing a mate or just treating yourself or family, this flourless chocolate cake will cast a spell for love, which is what we all need, right?
Torta Caprese is a traditional Italian chocolate dessert, rich and dense with chocolate and almonds and moisturized with olive oil. A decadent finale! Excellent served with espresso. Buon appetito!
May love knock at your door this Valentine’s Day!
- Line a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper. Lightly oil the bottom.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- 6 oz. good-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped and melted
- ½ cup plus 2 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil – I use Galantino Mandarin EVOO* but you can use any high-quality EVOO
- 1 Tbls. grated orange rind
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar (I use superfine)
- 7 oz. almond flour or finely ground whole almonds
- Pinch of salt
- whipped cream to decorate or if you prefer, powdered sugar dust
- Gently melt the chocolate and stir in the olive oil. Set aside.
- Beat the sugar and 4 egg yolks until light and creamy.
- Stir the ground almonds or almond flour into the sugar and egg mixture.
- Gently stir in the melted chocolate and olive oil.
- Beat the 4 egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form.
- Gradually fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. The mixture will not be light and airy but still rather dense.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes. I usually start checking the cake at 40 minutes by inserting a toothpick in the center to see if the inside is still damp or beginning to form moist crumbs. This cake does have a fudgy inside so do not over bake it.
- Let cool for half an hour and run a spatula around the edges to loosen the sides. Undo the sides of the pan and let cool. Cake can be kept for up to 5 days, wrapped in saran wrap in the refrigerator. It actually improves with flavor!
*EVOO = Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I have made this cake using the full amount of mandarin EVOO and have also made it with half mandarin and half EVOO. Feel free to improvise by using only EVOO, eliminating the orange peel and perhaps stirring in a tsp. of coffee power for a bold chocolate coffee flavor. Or, use EVOO and stir in a teaspoon of almond extract. Use your imagination!
“Chocolate symbolizes, as does no other food, luxury, comfort, sensuality, gratification, and love.”
― Karl Petzke
Ciao for now,