Here’s what will unofficially be my birthday cake. This is an almost flourless chocolate cake with lovely flavors of toasted almonds. When I have made the mascarpone crema, I used espresso. The crema is as much of a hit as the cake. The book this is from is more of a travel memoir than a cookbook, but there are some great recipes in the back. It would be lovely reading about the Mediterranean Sea in summer, now that Minnesota is very frozen and cold.
Chocolate Capri Cake with Whipped Mascarpone Cream, both from Mediterranean Summer by David Shalleck with Erol Munuz
The cake can be made a day ahead, kept in the pan, and wrapped in plastic wrap, and stored at room temperature. Add the confectioner’s sugar at serving time.
- 12 Tbs (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for the cake pan.
- 8 oz. unsweetened chocolate
- 1/2 cup (3 oz) whole almonds, toasted
- 2 Tbs flour
- 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tbs. confectioner’s sugar for dusting (optional)
- Place rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 300 degrees F. Butter a 9 inch cake pan and line the base with a circle of parchment paper. Butter the paper.
- Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler, stirring to combine them. Cool and set aside. Grind the almonds to a flour-like consistency in a food processor. Set aside. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar on high speed until light yellow and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Fold in the chocolate mixture. Fold in the almond flour. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks in a separate bowl, then carefully fold them into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry. Cool completely on a wire rack. invert from the pan onto a plate, remove parchment circle, and invert back onto serving plate. Dust the top with confectioners sugar.
- To cut the torta, run a long, thin knife under hot water. Shake off the excess water, keeping the blade clean for each slice. Serve with a dollop of the crema on the side.
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 8-9 oz of mascarpone
- 1 Tbs dark rum or other liquor, or 2 Tbs espresso
- 2 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Beat the yolks and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is light yellow and ribbons fall from teh beaters when they are lifted up. Add the mascarpone and flavoring (rum, espresso, etc). Mix at low speed and blend until smooth, then at high speed until soft peaks form.
- Using clean, dry beaters, beat the egg whites in another bowl on low speed until foamy. Add salt and cream of tartar, then beat, increasing speed in increments, until stiff peaks form. Fold the whites into the mascarpone mixture. Keep refrigerated.
The crema can be made 3 to 4 hours before serving. If it separates a little bit by becoming thin on the bottom and still fluffy on the top, give it a gentle stir to make it smooth throughout before serving.