Torta Caprese or Italian Flourless Chocolate Cake
This Torta Caprese or Italian Flourless Chocolate Cake has loads of chocolate flavor from semisweet chocolate and Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Plus almond flour gives structure without gluten.
Rich and dense, serve each slice of this Caprese Torte with a dollop of Frangelico whipped cream! An exquisite dessert for a dinner party, holidays, or simply a special treat for your family.
Why You Must Make
- This decadent flourless chocolate cake recipe hails from the Italian island of Capri, thus known as Torta Caprese in Italiano!
- There are conflicting stories about how this cake came to be, one citing a lack of flour and almond meal was substituted when making a chocolate cake for some tourists. This came to be known as a “most fortunate mistake.” Another tells the tale of a visitor from Austria requesting a sacher torte and this is what the Italian baker came up with as he had no knowledge of that dessert.
- Barring any nut allergies, this is one nutty cake that nut avoiders, like my husband, will actually enjoy. I used more finely ground almond flour instead of almond meal, just to keep the hubby happy.
- Kitchen Staples – Sugar, Salt
- Butter – I use salted butter, though many bakers prefer unsalted. If you use unsalted, add a pinch more salt.
- Semisweet Chocolate – I like Ghirardelli Bars which are readily available
- Vanilla Extract –
- Eggs – Large Eggs. Note that they will separate best when cold, but incorporated best into the batter when at room temperature.
- Almond Flour – I used Bob’s Red Mill Superfine Almond Flour
- Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder – It has been treated with an alkali to neutralize its acidity. Most times when used for baking, it’s not interchangeable with regular cocoa powder. It’s also richer and darker.
- Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries – An optional garnish.
How to Make
- Melt the butter and chocolate, then add vanilla and set aside.
- Whip the egg whites, slowly add the sugar, and beat until white and glossy.
- Mix egg yolks with the remaining sugar.
- Beat until thick and pale.
- Add the chocolate mixture, then the almond flour, cocoa, and salt.
- Add the egg whites.
- Slowly fold in the egg whites.
- Scrape into prepared pan, level the top, and bake as directed.
There are a few tricks to making this chocolate almond cake. You must understand how to fold one mixture into another and how to beat egg whites. Once you understand those concepts, this is a very simple recipe!
- Folding is a cooking term used when a lighter batter needs to be mixed with a heavier batter without deflating the lighter batter. Instead of beating with a mixer, a spatula is used for this technique. In this torta caprese, whipped egg whites are folded into an egg white chocolate batter.
- According to my (affiliate link) Food Lover’s Companion, the lighter mixture goes on top of the heavier one, and starting at the back of the bowl, a rubber spatula cuts vertically through the two mixtures, then across the bottom and up the nearest side. The bowl is then rotated a quarter turn and the process is repeated again and again until the mixtures are combined.
- Beating egg whites can be frustrating if you don’t use completely clean beaters, bowls, and egg whites that are not contaminated with any yolk.
- The whites will not beat if they are contaminated with any residual grease, oils, and even a speck of egg yolk, which happens to contain fat. You will not get billowy whipped egg whites no matter how long you beat them if the bowl and beaters aren’t sparkling clean or if some yolk gets in the whites when separating.
- Serve with sweetened whipped cream or even whipped cream spiked with Frangelico. I whip 1 cup of heavy cream with ¼-½ cup of powdered sugar (to taste) and 2 tablespoons of Frangelico. SO good!
- With these tips, you should be ready to go!! Check out how to make your own Almond Flour if you have trouble finding it in your market.
Frequently Asked Questions
In Italian, torte can mean cake, pie, or tart.
Wrap the cake so that it’s airtight, then it can be kept at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just defrost overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
If any grease, fat, or oil contaminates the egg whites, they won’t whip properly. This can occur if your bowl or beaters have any oily residue on them or if your whites have even a tiny speck of egg yolk in them.
If some yolk gets into your whites, you may have to toss them and start over, so be very careful and separate them one at a time in two separate bowls before adding the whites to the main mixing bowl.
You May Also Like
Despite not being on a gluten-free diet, I have loads of flourless chocolate cakes on the blog. No frosting is needed, as they are all rich and delectable.
- Flourless Chocolate Brownies from The View from Great Island
- La Bete Noire is a family favorite with a ganache topping
- Flourless Double Chocolate Cake
- Flourless Cookie Recipes
- Plus More of my Homemade Chocolate Recipes
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- 12 tablespoons butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 eggs, separtated
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 2 cups almond flour
- 2 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Sweetened whipped cream and berries, to serve, optional
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Microwave butter and chocolate with 30-second intervals, stopping and stirring until smooth and melted. Add vanilla, stir, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whip egg whites on low until foamy, then increase mixer speed to medium-high and whip while slowly adding 1/2 cup of the sugar. The whites should become white and glossy. Set aside.
- In another bowl, beat egg yolks and remaining sugar for about 3 minutes on medium-high, until thick and pale yellow. Add the chocolate mixture, mixing just until incorporated, then the almond flour, cocoa, and salt. Mix again, just until incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl, making sure it is well mixed.
- Add about 1/3 of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and mix just until no streaks of white are visible, then add this mixture into the rest of the egg whites. Fold in the chocolate until no streaks remain.
- Put the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
- Cool for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the side of the pan and let cool completely. Serve slices with a dusting of powdered sugar or berries and whipped cream.
Make sure no egg yolk gets into the egg whites or the whites won't whip properly. The bowl and beaters must also be free of oil or grease.
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated.
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Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 377Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 205mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 4gSugar: 26gProtein: 7g