Serves 10 to 12
Adapted from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich (Artisan, 2007).
This torte is quite sophisticated, and also flourless, with loads of ground up unsweetened chocolate folded into egg whites (no yolks) for a uniquely light and nutty texture and huge chocolate flavor. Good wine pairings for this torte include Brachetto D'Aqui, a light Italian sparkling red wine that also goes by the brand name, Rosa Regale. A richer sweeter choice, also good, is Pedro Ximenez (PX). In either case, serve the cake with a dollop of whipped cream to balance all of the flavors and textures.
Expand/Collapse Ingredient Details
- 1 cup (5 ounces) whole almonds or hazelnuts, with or without skins
- 7 ounces SCHARFFEN BERGER 99% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (7-8 large) egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream
- Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
- 9-inch spring form pan 2 1/2 to 3 inches deep, Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350degrees F. Grease the pan.
In a food processor, pulse the almonds, chocolate, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the salt until the almonds and chocolate are look very finely chopped but not completely pulverized. Set aside.
In a clean dry mixer bowl, beat the egg whites with cream of tarter until soft moist peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, continuing to beat until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. Add 1/3 of the nut mixture to the egg whites and fold with a large rubber spatula, until nearly incorporated. Fold in the remaining nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it level.
Bake the torte 25 to 30 minutes or until it is golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes free of batter, other than a little melted chocolate. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Store and serve at room temperature, dusted with powdered sugar. Serve slices with a dollop of whipped cream.