Flourless Chocolate Torte with Almonds

May 6, 2012 § 3 Comments

It’s kind of a European thing.

Coffee and pastry, or Torte, in the afternoon. It’s a tradition in Austria and many European countries. A time to slow down with a strong cup of espresso, a newspaper, and a piece of cake with schlag.  You can sit for hours in these bakeries, read, play cards, write your novel. There’s no gulping down your coffee in a paper cup here. In fact, when my son Sean was in Germany a few years ago and asked for a coffee to go, it took him a while to explain what exactly that meant. Coffee, to go? Why?

This tradition of coffee and cake in the afternoon is still going strong in my family. So I like to have something baked, like this easy Torte.

There are  a lot of flourless chocolate cake recipes out there, I’ve tried them and really they’re pretty much the same: eggs, chocolate , butter, sugar. Rich and dense, it goes great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a big dollop of whipped cream, or schlag.

For those who want to avoid sugar, I think you could substitute a mild honey for the sugar, you’d only need 1/4 cup of it. Oh and it’s also gluten free, a big plus for many people.

You can change a few ingredients here if you like, add some grated orange zest, add 1/2 tsp almond extract to make it more almond-y. Maybe a little bit of finely grated ginger in the batter. But it’s best, I think, just the way it is here.

You need:

1  3/4 stick unsalted butter

7 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate ( I use Scharffenberger) It’s worth it to buy really good chocolate, makes all the difference in the richness of this cake. Scharffenberger is the only chocolate I’ve found that doesn’t use GMO soy lecithin.

2 TBl ground almonds

1/2 cup sugar

5 eggs, separated

slivered almonds for top, about 1-2 TBl

What you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a pie dish, 9″, with a little butter and dust with ground almonds if you like. You’ll need 2 TBL for the batter so grind a little extra for this.

On the stove, slowly melt the butter and chocolate over a pot of simmering water. Stir once or twice.

When it’s melted, take it off the heat and add the sugar, the 2 TBL of ground almonds, and the 5 egg yolks.

Stir well. You can use a whisk for this.

Beat the egg whites with a mixer for about 2 or 3 minutes until you get those soft peaks.

Now fold a little bit of these egg whites into the chocolate batter. You want a light and airy batter so do it gently until all the whites are used up.

Pour into the pie dish, sprinkle with the slivered almonds and bake about 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick, should be dry.

The cake will crack as it cools and sink a bit, don’t worry, this is normal.

Serve after it cools a bit, or at room temp.

And don’t forget the schlag!

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