Are you a fan of chocolate desserts? Then you should try eating some Torta Caprese, a decadent Italian cake. It’s described as, “Uno dei pasticci più fortunati della storia,” or one of history’s most fortunate mistakes. But what is Torta Caprese, exactly?
Well, that’s what this blog post is for! Keep reading as we explore the history and origin of this cake, what it contains, give you serving suggestions, and so much more.
So… What is Torta Caprese?
Torta Caprese is a traditional Italian chocolate cake that is named after the island of Capri. That answers the question, “Why is it called Caprese?” Why the word “torta”, though?
Well, it’s not the Mexican or Filipino term for sure. Check out what Google Translate says:
Now, what makes it special, you ask? Well, the fact that it’s a flourless chocolate cake!
So yes, in case you were wondering, a flourless cake is totally possible. You won’t see any Italian 00 flour in this chocolate cake recipe! The batter of this particular cake has chocolate and almonds, as well as butter, sugar, and eggs.
And if you’re wondering what the result is of a cake without flour, well, it’s delicious, to say the least. You’ll get a cake with a crispy exterior and a soft, moist interior. But what does torta caprese taste like, you ask?
Well, It has a dense, moist, fudgy texture with a very deep chocolatey flavor. The almond flour in the cake adds a slightly nutty flavor that goes well with the chocolate. Chocolate lovers will really enjoy it.
You can eat the cake on its own, or add extra flavor and taste with whipped cream, fresh berries, or vanilla ice cream. Either way, you’re in for a treat!
Did we mention that it’s gluten-free? It’s not a keto dessert, though.
The Origins of Torta Caprese
We all know that this chocolate almond flourless cake is from Italy. But what’s the story behind it?
Well, there’s no definitive Torta Caprese history, but there are awesome stories about it! For example:
- One story goes that in 1920 Capri pastry chef Carmine di Fiore was preparing an almond cake for three American gangsters who were visiting Capri. Because of his intense concentration, he forgot to add flour. To his astonishment (and probably thankfulness), the cake turned out to not only be delicious but became a unique delicacy. Apparently, though, no one in Capri knows this version!
- Another version of the story above refers to an unnamed baker who ran out of flour or forgot to add flour while making a cake for a tourist. It’s a less exciting version, agree?
- One more account says that the invention of this Italian chocolate cake was because of Neapolitan chefs who were asked to make a Sacher cake (one of many chocolate desserts of Austrian origin) by the King of Naples’ Austrian wife. They didn’t and instead, improvised by making an almond flourless cake. Good thing the wife liked it, eh?
Whatever the true story of the cake is, we can all be sure of one thing: Italians—and the rest of the world—are grateful that it’s around!
How do you make torta caprese?
At this point, there are probably many variations of this chocolate cake recipe, but here’s an overview of what you’ll need and the process you’ll go through.
At this point, there are probably many variations of this chocolate cake recipe, but here’s an overview of what you’ll need and the process you’ll go through. This Torta Caprese recipe is for a 22 cm (8.5 inches) cake.
Torta Caprese Ingredients
You’ll need the following:
- 200g or 7 oz of chopped dark chocolate,
- 200g or 7 oz diced unsalted butter
- 200g or 7 oz of blanched almonds or almond flour. You can also try almond meal but you have to make sure it’s very fine.
- 200g or 7 oz of granulated sugar
- 4 eggs, separated
- A pinch of salt
- Powdered sugar for dusting
The basic rules of baking include having the proper equipment to achieve baking perfection. So make sure you have these:
- A 22 cm or 8.5-inch cake pan
- Some parchment paper or butter/cooking spray for greasing the pan
- A heatproof bowl
- A large mixing bowl
- Spatula or wooden spoon
- Electric mixer (optional) or whisk for beating the egg whites
- A wire rack for cooling the cake
Baking the cake
Ready to get baking? Here’s what to do next:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C or 50°F. Grease your cake pan with butter or cooking spray.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the melted chocolate and butter look smooth.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the almond flour and sugar until they’re fully combined.
4. Add egg yolks to the almond mixture and mix with a whisk or your stand mixer until you get a mixture that is pale and fluffy.
5. Fold the melted chocolate and butter into the almond mixture. Make sure it’s fully combined!
6. In another bowl, whisk your egg whites together with salt until stiff peaks form. After that, gently fold the egg whites into the earlier chocolate mixture. When it’s fully combined, proceed to the next step.
7. Pour the batter into your cake pan. Smoothen the top as much as possible with the spatula.
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
9. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
10. Make sure you have dusted it with powdered sugar before serving. This is entirely optional though.
And there you have it – a delicious and easy recipe for making Torta Caprese! Feel free to adjust the Torta Caprese recipe depending on the size of your available cake pans.
Torta Caprese serving suggestions
This Italian chocolate cake is a very versatile dessert that can be served in many different ways, such as:
With whipped cream: Whipped cream or whipping cream is a perfect complement to Torta Caprese’s rich and chocolatey flavor. Top the cake with a dollop of whipped cream, or serve it on the side.
With fresh berries: Fresh berries like raspberries or strawberries not only add a pop of color but also a bright and fruity flavor to the cake. Scatter them over the top of the cake, or serve them on the side.
Dust with powdered sugar: The powdered sugar gives Torta Caprese an elegant and festive look. Dust over the top of the cake before serving.
With vanilla ice cream: Want to be sure you have an authentic Torta Caprese recipe? Serve it with a ball of vanilla ice cream. Hey, if restaurants in Capri are doing it, why not you, right?
Torta Caprese Variations
The traditional Torta Caprese is delicious already. But if you feel like it, there are many ways to modify it and create new flavor combinations. Here are a few ideas.
Add orange or lemon zest: Adding citrus zest to the batter gives Torta Caprese a fresh, zesty flavor that pairs well with the chocolate. Grate the zest of one orange or lemon and stir it into the batter before baking.
Make a white chocolate version: If you prefer white chocolate instead of dark, you can make a white chocolate Torta Caprese! Change up the dark chocolate for white, and follow the same procedure. That’s definitely a sight to be seen!
Add a shot of espresso: For an extra kick of flavor, add a shot of espresso to the batter.
Keto: Hey, it’s already gluten-free, and it has almonds. Why not make a keto version of this cake? Just replace the sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener which you can see in this list and you’re good to go!
How to Store Torta Caprese
Since this Caprese cake is very indulgent, you may not want to finish the whole thing at once. That’s especially if you’re the only one eating! So what you can do for storage is to cover the remaining cake with plastic wrap to keep it fresh for an additional 3 to 5 days.
You can also freeze the cake. Cut it up into slices, then wrap and freeze each piece for better storage. It will last up to 3 months, but don’t forget it!
If you want to eat it once again, thaw the cake at room temperature for about an hour before serving.
Torta Caprese is a classic Italian dessert that will please any chocolate lover. While it’s delicious already in its original form, you can also serve it with whipped cream or other things to make it even more perfect. We encourage you to experience and enjoy this Italian chocolate dessert today!
Want to make a surefire delicious Torta Caprese?
Did this blog post inspire you to make your own Italian flourless chocolate cake? If you’re looking for a
Torta Caprese recipe that you will surely enjoy and succeed at making, we’ve got it here at The Bailiwick Academy.
Check out Chef Joey Prats’ Torta Caprese class!
For this course, you can be sure that you’ll get an authentic Torta Caprese recipe. Chef Joey wanted to remain true to the original Italian formula, so he had an associate fly in three cakes from three different Italian cities. And after 4 weeks of research, he had a recipe ready to roll out!
This variation is a leveled-up one that comes with a layer of dark chocolate ganache and strawberries. And while it’s definitely next level, Chef Joey made sure that you’ll have an easy and no-frills experience in preparing the recipe.
So if you’re looking to add another chocolate cake recipe to your offerings, or simply to your baking repertoire, why not this one? Enjoy the moist, chocolatey, and delightfully nutty cake today! Sign up at The Bailiwick Academy now!
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