Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Torta Capresa (Chocolate Cake from Capri)

Though chocolate cakes are not a typical Italian dessert, this decadent flourless chocolate cake is very popular in Italy. You can find it in all the elegant pastry shops in Naples but almost every Italian baker has an own version. This is my version.

Makes one (9 inch) cake, about 12 servings

• 1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
• 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
• ¼ cup sugar
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 6 large eggs
• 1 ½ cups (about 5-6 ounces) ground almonds
• 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
• Cocoa powder, for finishing

Set rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350° F. Butter a 9 inch round cake pan, 2 inches deep and line with a disk of parchment or wax paper.

Set a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water to create a double boiler. Put the butter and chocolate into the bowl to melt, whisking occasionally.Let it cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and the two sugars until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and add the chocolate mixture beating again until the mixture is smooth. Turn the mixer off and use a large rubber spatula to stir in the almonds and cocoa powder.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake until it is firm, about 35-40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean.

Invert the cake to a rack and remove the pan. Immediately re-invert to another rack so that the cake cools right-side-up. If the cake sinks slightly in the center as it cools, trim away the sides before inverting the cake to a platter.

Dust the cake with cocoa powder before serving.