Torta Caprese is a traditional Italian chocolate and almond cake from the beautiful island of Capri, surrounded by the inky blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, just off the Sorrento Peninsula. The origins of this rich and indulgent cake, other than the location, are not known, however, it is rumoured that it was made by accident when a pastry chef in Capri added in ground almonds instead of flour. We certainly aren’t complaining as this easy-to-make gluten-free treat is perfect for any occasion! Particularly popular in Naples where you’ll find Italians enjoying a thin slice of this tasty creation con panna (with cream) alongside a shot of espresso coffee.
Preparation time: 45 mins
Cooking time: 45 mins
Calories per serving: 428kcal
9inch/23cm cake tin (spring-form is best)
250g blanched almonds (*see below how to blanch your almonds)
225g good quality dark chocolate (70%)
200g caster sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1tbsp cocoa powder
Orange zest (optional)
Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
*How to Blanch Almonds (remove the skin)
- In a small saucepan fill with water and bring to a boil.
- Add in your almonds and boil for 1 minute (No longer or they become too soft!)
- Take off the heat, drain into a sieve and run under cold water to prevent them from softening any more.
- Once cooled, you will be able to easily remove the skins by pinching the almond on each side.
Prepare the cake
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C/160°C fan & line your cake tin with baking parchment. Chef’s Tip: this is easier if you grease the tin with a little butter.
- If using the flaked almonds for decoration, place them in the same dry pan and toast until slightly golden. Set aside on a separate plate to cool.
- Once your blanched almonds are cool, blitz in a food processor and set aside.
- Next, melt the butter and chocolate together in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water. Set aside to cool a little.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar and egg yolks until pale in colour using a whisk or electric beater. Continue to whisk/beat whilst slowly adding the chocolate mixture. Add in the cocoa powder, ground almonds and a pinch of salt, mix until combined.
- In another large, dry bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Next, carefully fold in the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Take care not to lose too much air by over-mixing.
- Using a rubber spatula scrape the mixture into your cake tin and bake on a middle shelf for 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin.
- Transfer onto a serving plate (some cracks may appear when it cools!), sprinkle with icing sugar and orange zest.
- Serve with a dollop of fresh cream and an espresso for a traditional Italian cake-eating experience! Buon Appetito!