BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -
Prep Time: 1½ hours
Yields: 12 to 14 servings
In south Louisiana, there is a huge Italian population. The descendants of the late 1800s immigrants continue to carry on traditions of yesteryear. This includes holiday baking! This cake is also known as “torta caprese.” As that name suggests, this dessert originated from the Italian isle of Capri.
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups almond flour
12 tbsps unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 tbsps Dutch-processed cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup confectioners' sugar, optional
Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly spray 9-inch springform pan with vegetable oil spray then set aside.
Microwave chocolate and butter in medium bowl at 50 percent power, stirring often, 1½–2 minutes or until melted. Stir in vanilla and set aside.
Using stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites on medium-low speed 1 minute or until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high then slowly add ½ cup granulated sugar, mixing 4 minutes or until whites are glossy and thick and stiff peaks form. Transfer whites to a large bowl.
Add egg yolks and remaining granulated sugar to mixer bowl and mix on medium-high speed 3 minutes or until thick and pale yellow. Add chocolate mixture and mix on medium speed 15 seconds or until incorporated.
Add almond flour, cocoa, and salt and mix 30 seconds or until incorporated.
Remove bowl from mixer. Stir with a large rubber spatula, scraping bottom of bowl to ensure almond flour is fully incorporated. Add one-third of whipped egg whites to bowl and return bowl to mixer. Mix on medium speed 30 seconds or until no streaks of white remain. Transfer batter to bowl with remaining whites.
Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold whites into batter until no streaks of white remain. Pour batter into prepared pan and place pan on rimmed baking sheet. Bake 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with few moist crumbs attached, rotating pan halfway through baking process.
Let cake cool 20 minutes in pan on wire rack. Remove side of pan and let cake cool 2 hours.
NOTE: This cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to three days.
When cake is cooled, dust top of cake with confectioners' sugar, if desired. Using an offset spatula, transfer cake to serving platter. Cut into wedges and serve.