Torta caprese (Chocolate cake)

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PRESENTATION

Recipe by
Sal De Riso
Torta caprese (Chocolate cake)

It is said that some of the best ideas come from mistakes, and this is exactly what has often happened to great people in history. Even in the kitchen, certain mistakes have made someone's fortune. An example is the torta caprese (chocolate cake), the cake invented by Carmine Di Fiore around 1920, who forgot to add flour to the mixture. But once the dessert was out of the oven, thanks to its wonderful moist and soft texture as well as its natural absence of gluten, it became a huge success. The rest, as they say, is history. And in fact, torta caprese (chocolate cake) has won people over from that fateful mistake, to the point of becoming one of the icons of traditional Campania pastry-making. From the island of Capri, where it was created, to the Amalfi Coast, where you can also taste the famous lemon delicacies, torta caprese (chocolate cake) is a best-selling dessert. And so we decided to tell you all the secrets so that you could make it at home. Salvatore De Riso, renowned master pastry chef came to help us, to make sure you get a professional result!

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients for a 22 cm mold
Dark chocolatel 50% 6 oz (170 g) - for grating
Peeled almonds ¾ cup (85 g) - (to be finely ground)
Whole peeled hazelnuts ¾ cup (85 g) - from Giffoni (to be finely ground)
Powdered sugar 1 ½ cup (170 g)
Butter 6 oz (170 g) - softened
Potato starch 3 tbsp (25 g)
Unsweetened cocoa powder 2 ½ tbsp (14 g)
Egg whites ½ cup (148 g) - at room temperature
Egg yolks ⅓ cup (85 g) - at room temperature
Baking powder 1 tsp (4 g)
Vanilla bean 1 - Bourbon
Fine salt 1 pinch
to decorate
Powdered sugar to taste
Preparation

How to prepare Torta caprese (Chocolate cake)

To prepare torta caprese (chocolate cake), start by placing the butter at room temperature into a bowl (take it out of the fridge at least a couple of hours before using it), half of the sugar 1 and the seeds scraped off half a vanilla bean 2. Using a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, whisk the butter and after 6-7 minutes add the pinch of salt and egg yolks. The eggs should also be left at room temperature for at least 12 hours 3.

After a few minutes the mixture will be frothy 4, so turn off the mixer, clean the bowl with a spatula collecting all the mixture and set it aside 5. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients: add the grated chocolate, the powdered almonds 6,

and the powdered hazelnuts 7. Next, sift the potato starch, baking powder 8 and bitter cocoa powder 9.

Mix everything well and set aside 10. In another bowl pour the egg whites and the remaining powdered sugar 11. Make sure that the whisks are clean, otherwise the egg whites will not whip 12.

After a few minutes the egg whites will be shiny and frothy: you don't have to whip them stiff, but they need to hold the classic bird beak 13. When all preparations are complete, preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C) in convection mode and start combining them: fold a third of the whipped egg whites 14 then a third of the dry ingredients 15 into the egg yolks and butter mixture

using a spatula, stirring gently from bottom to top 16. Add another third of the egg whites and one third of the dry ingredients 17 and continue until you get a uniform mixture 18.

Pour the smooth and creamy mixture into a 9-inch (22 cm) round cake mold already buttered and floured with potato starch 19. Carefully level the surface 20 and bake in a convection oven at 340°F (170°C) for about 45 minutes 21.

Once baked, let the cake cool down in the mold, then turn it upside down to unmold it 23. Then turn it over again on a plate lined with baking paper and let it cool completely 24. Once cold, turn the cake upside down one last time, remove the baking paper and dust the surface with powdered sugar. Your torta caprese (chocolate cake) is ready to be enjoyed 25!

Storage

Torta caprese (chocolate cake) can be stored at room temperature, in a cool place, under a glass dome for 3-4 days.

The cake freezes well, better without the powdered sugar; to make it easier you can cut it into portions before freezing.

Tips

Prepare the ground hazelnuts and toasted almonds in advance: just blend them at maximum speed, the time it takes to turn them into flour. Pour the ground nuts on a sheet of baking paper and let them air dry overnight.

An alternative version of the torta caprese (chocolate cake) includes melted chocolate, but in this case the texture will be more compact. If you prefer you can try both versions, then choose the one you prefer!