CAPRESE CHOCOLATE ALMOND TORTE
2 1/3 CUPS SLICED ALMONDS
5 EGGS – large
2 TSPS EXTRACT*
8 OZ BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE
1 CUP DARK BROWN SUGAR – packed
PINCH OF KOSHER SALT
*You can use almond or vanilla extract but if you have a raspberry flavoring or liqueur that is perfect for this chocolate dessert, especially on Valentine’s Day or a Date Night.
Heat oven to 350º and place rack in the middle of the oven. Spread the almonds out evenly in a layer on a baking sheet and toast until golden brown – about 8 – 10 mins. Stir them around about half-way through baking. Allow to cool to room temperature – very important.
Reduce oven to 300º.
While nuts are cooling, spray the bottom and sides of a 9” round cake pan, line bottom with parchment paper and spray paper.
In a small mixing bowl add the eggs and the desired flavoring and blend together.
Using a food processor, pulse 2 cups of the almonds until finely ground. Add the chocolate and pulse until finely ground. Add sugar and salt and pulse until all is well combined. Scrape the bowl down as need. With the machine running, slowly pour in the egg mixture and process until you have a smooth well combined batter. Scrape down the sides and give one more spin.
With blade removed, pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining almonds. Bake until a cake tester comes out moist and slightly fudge-like but the center feels firm – approximately 30 – 35 minutes, but start checking at 25 mins.
After removing from oven, cool on wire rack for 30 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the inside of the cake pan to loosen and then invert onto a rack, peel off the parchment paper and then invert again onto your serving plate. Best served warm with a side of whipped cream and/or topped with a fruit and syrup sauce such as Amarena Fabbri which you can find in cherry strawberry or raspberry. Or you can make your own favorite. Oh, a sip of Vin Santo would be just perfect.
Note: do not bake until the cake tester comes out clean or the cake will be overdone and will be dry and tough. You want a brownie like consistency.