This Chocolate Almond Cake is a classic Italian dessert.
In Italy this cake is commonly known as Torta Caprese, a delicious flourless chocolate cake. It is gluten free by nature making it perfect to serve when you need to avoid gluten.
Making this Chocolate Almond cake is perfect for dessert when you need a gluten free option.
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. It’s deliciously, moist and fudgy like a really good brownie. All you need to decorate is a good dusting of cocoa powder. The thin crust on the top cracks and settles as this cake cools and sinks a little creating a wonderful rustic surface that needs no further adornment. 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 Chocolate Almond cake 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.
What are the important points to make this cake perfectly?
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 this recipe. The rising comes from the beaten egg whites. So use only very fresh eggs. Separately them 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.
How to know when 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.
Almonds are one of my favorite nuts. I use them in so many recipes like the wonderful Tosca cake or these yummy Italian Orange and 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 have any questions about this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment or contact me personally. I love hearing from you and answering your questions. I’m here to help.
This Chocolate Almond cake is even better the next day when it becomes even more moist and dense so it the ideal cake to make when you want to be organised.
Chocolate Almond Cake
- 225 g dark chocolate (see notes)
- 250 g almonds (unblanched)
- 225 g unsalted butter ( softened)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 eggs separated
- 2 tablespoon Strega Liqueur optional see notes
- pinch salt
- cocoa for dusting
- Preheat oven to 160C/325F. Butter a 22cm/9 inch springfrom pan and line the base with non stick 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 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 this Chocolate Almond cake 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.