The Baronessa's Torta Caprese
Torta Caprese, though associated with Capri, can be found everywhere throughout Campania. Made with almonds instead of flour, it is an ideal cake for people who maintain a gluten-free diet.
On Day 2 of our May food and wine tour, guests learned how to make this regional cake at a cooking class led by Baronessa Cecilia Baratta Bellelli. This recipe can also be found in the excellent "Naples at Table" cookbook by Arthur Schwartz.
12 ounces blanched and peeled almonds, fine ground
6 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter at room temperature
6 eggs separated
10 tablespoons of sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with wax paper or baking parchment. Butter and flour the lining.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, using the metal blade, grind the almonds in 3 batches, pulsing each with 2 tablespoons of sugar for a total of 6 tablespoons. Set aside.
3. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter together.
4. In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks until lemon colored, about 5 minutes, then gradually beat in the 10 tablespoons of sugar.
5. Add the melted chocolate and butter to the egg yolks. Stir to mix well. Fold in the ground almonds and stir well to incorporate.
6. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the final 1/4 cup sugar until they are stiff.
7. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate batter in 2 additions.
8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake on a cookie sheet in the lower third of the preheated oven for 90 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
9. Let cool on a rack 15 minutes before removing the sides of the springform.
10. When the cake has cooked, turn it upside down onto a serving plate. Remove the wax paper or parchment. Before serving, sift confectioners sugar over the top.
Please enjoy this photo slideshow of highlights from our recent "Spring in Campania" food and wine tour.