Although we have been to Campania a number of times, during our latest trip in September it was the first time that we got to enjoy a slice of Torta Caprese, which was at Villa Rosa. It is a flourless chocolate and almond cake that is moist on the inside and has a wonderful flavor, thanks to the combination of dark chocolate, almonds, and orange zest. It is also gluten free, in case you are have Coeliac disease. (Please note that gluten are perfectly healthy for anyone who does not have Coeliac disease.) I followed this recipe in Italian and it came out as delicious as I remembered it from Villa Rosa.
For a 18 cm (7 inch) springform pan
- 185 grams of almond flour
- 125 grams of dark chocolate (I used 80% cocoa solids)
- 125 grams unsalted butter + more for greasing the pan
- 3 eggs, separated
- 125 grams sugar
- grated zest of 1 big or 2 small oranges
- 1 Tbsp rum
- powered sugar for finishing
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F (not fan forced).
Break up the chocolate and dice the butter, and melt them together, stirring over low heat. You may have to use au bain marie if you don’t have an induction hob. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool somewhat (to around 50C/120F) before adding it to the egg mixture.
Separate the eggs. Combine the orange zest, egg yolks, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor.
Process until the sugar has dissolved.
Add the almond flour.
Process until the almond flour has been incorporated.
Add the chocolate mixture.
Process until incorporated.
Beat the egg whites until they are like snow. Transfer the chocolate almond mixture to a large bowl. Fold the egg whites into the the chocolate almond mixture in 4 parts, working gently from below with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Working gently rather than stirring vehemently is important to keep as much air in the mixture as possible, as this is what will leaven the cake.
Keep going until the batter is smooth.
Grease a 18 cm (7″) springform pan with butter, and transfer the batter to the greased pan. Level the top with a spatula.
Bake the cake at 180C/350F (not fan forced) until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.
It is important to allow the cake to cool before removing the springform pan, as otherwise it may tear.
Finish with powdered sugar.
Serve at room temperature.
You can store the cake in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic foil. It is easier to slice it when it is cold, but allow the slices to come to room temperature before serving.
This is great with a Moscato di Pantelleria or Malvasia delle Lipari Passito.