Torta Caprese is a decadent Italian cake made with dark chocolate and almonds.
It’s gluten free by nature so everyone will love this flourless chocolate cake. Serve large slices and sit back and wait for the applause!!
Why you’ll love this recipe
While I don’t need to avoid gluten and neither does my family there are times when my guests are avoiding gluten. This is the cake I serve.
The thin crust on the top cracks and settles as this cake cools and sinks a little creating a wonderful rustic surface that needs nothing else. Inside you’ll find this Chocolate Almond cake full of delicious almonds and rich chocolate with just a hint of licorice from the Strega liqueur.
Now, I’m not a lover of Strega Liqueur but it compliments this Torta Caprese perfectly. Of course, take my suggestions in the recipe notes and substitute for rum or another liqueur of your choice. Then again, the alcohol part is entirely optional. Leave it out if you would rather. If that is the case, check the cake at 45 minutes instead of 50 minutes.
This cake is based on almonds and while it may be tempting to us almond flour, don’t. Grinding the almonds will provide a better texture because almond flour is too fine. Be sure to purchase unblanched (skin on) almonds
Just a quick note about these other ingredients.
- dark chocolate – I use 70% cacao dark chocolate. If that’s too bitter for you use 45-60%
- butter – unsalted
- Strega liqueur – Strega is my preferred liqueur for Torta Caprese but you might prefer rum, a coffee liqueur like Kahlua or Grand Marnier
Preheat the over to 320ºF/160ºC and grease and line a 9in/22cm springform pan.
- Melt the chocolate over simmering water (or carefully in the microwave) and set aside to cool.
- Grind the almonds in a food processor. Set aside.
- Beat butter with half the sugar then add egg yolks.
- Stir in the melted chocolate and liqueur followed by ground almonds and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks then sprinkle in sugar. Whisk to form firm peaks.
- Fold egg whites through chocolate mixture .
- Pour into prepared pan and bake.
- Cool in the pan before serving.
Tips for success and FAQ’s
Even though this is a simple cake there are a few important steps that I would like to point out to help you create this perfectly the first time.
There is no baking powder in Torta Caprese. The rising comes from the beaten egg whites. So use only very fresh eggs. Separately eggs carefully. That means no yolk in with the whites and use a very clean bowl to whisk the egg whites.
Lastly don’t over whip the whites. Only whip until the mixture looks creamy and firm peaks form.
That means when the whisk is pull out the tips of the egg whites will droop. You will know that you have overwhipped if the egg whites are dull and grainy. Mix the egg whites into the chocolate batter lightly but firmly until no streaks of white remain.
This cake will be fine for 3-4 days. If you live in a hot, humid climate like I do, pop it into a sealed container and into the refrigerator if not eaten on the first day.
Bring the cake to room temperature before eat.
This cake will freeze but won’t be as good as fresh. If you have leftovers that you can’t eat, cut into slices, wrap well in plastic and freeze.
Torta Caprese make wonderful use of almonds. If you love almonds as much as I do, you much try this Tosca cake or these yummy Italian Orange Almond Cookies. If you have time always toast the nuts before using in any recipe. Toasting brings out the true flavor in all nuts.
If you enjoyed this recipe, I’d really appreciate a star rating and a comment or tag me on instagram @marcellina.in.cucina.
Either way, I love to hear from you!
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Torta Caprese Recipe
- 8 oz (225 grams) bittersweet (dark) chocolate (see notes)
- 1 ¾ cup (250 grams) almonds (unblanched)
- 1 cup (2 sticks/225 grams) unsalted butter ( softened)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 eggs separated
- 3 tablespoon (45mls) Strega Liqueur optional see notes
- pinch salt
- cocoa for dusting
- Preheat oven to 325ºF/160ºC. Butter a 9 inch/22cm springfrom pan and line the base with non stick baking paper.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Set aside to cool.
- Grind the almonds in food processor until they resemble cornmeal but not as finely ground as flour. It’s ok if it’s a little more than cornmeal.
- Using a stand mixer, beat the butter with half the sugar until smooth and well mixed.
- Add yolks one at a time while the mixer is on low speed. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides.
- Mix in the melted chocolate and liqueur and then the ground almonds and salt. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl to be sure all of the chocolate and almonds are mixed through.
- If you have another bowl for your stand mixer use it for the egg white. Otherwise, scrape out the chocolate mixture into a large bowl and wash out the stand mixer bowl to prepare to beat the egg whites.
- Beat the egg whites with a whisk attachment until soft peaks form.
- Sprinkle in the remaining sugar and whisk until firm peaks form but the mixture is not dry.
- Mix a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten. Then mix in the rest of the egg whites gently until no white traces remain.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out with just a few crumbs clinging.
- Cool cake in the pan. When cool, run a knife around the edge and remove the ring.
- Place the cake onto a serving plate and dust generously with cocoa.
- I use 70% cacao dark chocolate. If that’s too bitter for you use 45-60%
- Strega is my preferred liqueur for Torta Caprese but you might prefer rum or a coffee liqueur like Kahlua
- This cake improves on keeping so get organised and make it the day before.
- If storing for longer than a day, cover and keep in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving
- Freeze by wrapping well in a double layer of plastic wrap.