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I try to keep everything pretty balanced here on my blog. I don’t like to post too many sweet recipes in a row, or too many savory recipes. I like to make sure I mix it up a bit. So sometimes, some of my favorites get pushed out of line, having to wait to be posted about. I cannot believe I haven’t posted about this cake yet. It has been sitting on my computer, begging to be posted about for the last month, and somehow, it’s taken me this long to get to it. But I couldn’t wait one day longer, because this cake is just that good.

This past Easter, I wanted to have a quiet holiday, with just my husband and I. As much as I love spending time with both of our families, the previous few weeks had been crazy and hectic, and all I wanted was a quiet weekend at home with no stress and nowhere to go. I had never prepared a full Easter dinner myself before, and I was afraid it was going to take away from the stress-free weekend, but it was actually one of the easiest meals I have made. (I’ll have to write about the ham recipe I used sometime, because it was one of the best hams I’ve had!) For dessert, I wanted something that was not fussy, something that could be done ahead of time, and something a little different from the normal desserts we usually have. I went through one of my cookbooks that I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t used up to that point – Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich. This cookbook especially appealed to me for this particular meal because it focuses on the simple flavors of different ingredients. I was craving something chocolate, so I decided to go with this Italian Chocolate-Almond Torte.

If you are looking for simplicity and sophistication, this cake is perfect for both. It only has 6 ingredients in the actual cake and it comes together quickly. The only problem I had while making this was that I didn’t cook it long enough. I realized this after I had already taken it out of the oven, and after a few minutes of worrying about what I should do, I ended up putting it back in the oven while the oven was cooling down. And although the cake ended up falling a bit in the middle, this trick mostly worked because by desert time, the cake was fully cooked.

I found some fresh raspberries at the store that I couldn’t pass up, and they were the perfect companion, along with some fresh whipped cream. Both my husband and I were in love with the flavor and texture of this cake. It’s not like your typical cake because the flour is replaced with ground almonds. The nutty flavor along with the chocolate were a perfect match. I would suggest using the highest quality ingredients for this cake, as they really shine through.

A perfect ending to a wonderful Easter dinner!!

Italian Chocolate-Almond Torte
from Pure Dessert

1 cup (5 ounces) unblanched or blanched whole almonds
7 ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 large egg whites (1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Powdered sugar or unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
Sweetened whipped cream for serving (optional)

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the sides of the springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Combine the almonds. chocolate, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the salt in a food processor and pulse until the almonds and chocolate are very finely chopped but not completely pulverized. Set aside.

In the clean dry bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand-held mixer and a large bowl, beat the egg whites with cream of tarter until soft, moist peaks are formed when the beaters are lifted. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue to beat until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. Add one-third of the nut mixture to the egg whites and fold in with a large rubber spatula until nearly incorporated. Fold in half of the remaining nuts, then fold in the rest of the nuts.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake until the torte has risen and is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, or with a little melted chocolate, 25 to 30 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan and invert the cake onto the rack. Remove the bottom of the pan and then the parchment liner. Turn the cake right side up and cool completely. Cover or wrap tightly, and store for up to 3 days at room temperature.

To serve, transfer the cake to a serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar or cocoa, and serve slices with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

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54 Responses to Italian Chocolate-Almond Torte

  1. Suzana says:

    Mmmm! I would love some of that with my coffee!

  2. My Sweet & Saucy says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love your post from Pure Dessert! What a great book that is…and your cake looks amazing!

  3. My Sweet & Saucy says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love your post from Pure Dessert! What a great book that is…and your cake looks amazing!

  4. Elle says:

    I love me some chocolate cake! That sounds and looks delicious!

    Deborah, I tagged you for a six word memoir–you can see the rules on my blog, and you can choose to play or not, up to you. :) Cheers!

  5. Elle says:

    And oops! Forgot! The E for Excellent blog award, too. :)

  6. Mandy says:

    I have exactly 7 egg whites in the fridge now, is this a sign? :) Deborah, your torte looks gorgeous, exactly like the one on the book!

  7. Tempered Woman says:

    Ya know~ I don’t think I’ve even noticed this recipe in the book but I’m amazingly happy you whipped it up. I have a buttload of almonds and no idea what I want to do with them~ almond block I guess? And the recipe is so simple I know I have everything else on hand. Way to save the day hotstuff! Cue music *I think I lurve you…*
    ;-)

  8. Augustina says:

    Yum, chocolate cake! this one looks great with the berries. Another one to put on my list of must-try recipes!

  9. Jenny says:

    Really beautiful Deborah. I love the looks and sounds of this recipe.

  10. Sylvie says:

    Sometimes the simple things just can’t be beaten. This looks wonderful.

  11. Katie says:

    Ohhh this sounds wonderful and a bit of a squidey soft centre is never a downside.

  12. glamah16 says:

    It looks and sounds perfect.

  13. Melanie says:

    So unique to use ground almonds for the flour – I bet it was delicious!

  14. noble pig says:

    Almond tortes are some of my all time favorite desserts. This one looks wonderful. I am such a fan of nuts this one would be hard to pass up.

  15. Allison says:

    OH SNAP YES! I have been looking for a recipe just like this that uses unsweetened chocolate! It looks amazing and I am going to make it this week! (I have a friend who can’t eat carbs for health reasons, have been wanting to make her something, and this seems like a good thing to try to make carb free)
    yaaay thanks!

  16. Katerina says:

    mmm almonds and chocolate.

  17. PheMom says:

    Oohhh…bring this when you are “on my doorstep.” I’d totally let you in anyway, but this looks so good! Have you tried Amano Choc yet? I guess they are out of Orem – looks so good!

  18. rainbowbrown says:

    Oh my. I’ve been stopping at this recipe every time I look through Pure Dessert. Yours looks so good.

  19. Erika says:

    That looks great! I am definitely going to file this one away to try someday!

  20. mimi says:

    i love desserts with only a few ingredients! looks really delish, love the whipped cream and raspberries on top.

  21. Kevin says:

    That list of ingredients is short! The chocolate and almond combo sounds really good.

  22. tigerfish says:

    Did I hear chocolate ? So I came…:p

  23. Tracy says:

    This looks so simple yet so delicious.

  24. Alex says:

    Giving chocolate to others is an intimate form of communication, a sharing of deep, dark secrets in which a chocolate in the mouth is worth two on the plate.

    I do have a chocolate site too, check this out
    http://www.sarahs-sweet-fountains.co.uk

    Thanks for letting me comment on your site :D

  25. Gigi says:

    I must get a copy of this book soon! A perfect dessert with an espresso on a cool evening.

  26. Chuck says:

    mmmm that looks so good, mind you anything with chocolate has to be good! Very nice!

  27. StickyGooeyCreamyChewy says:

    I love that chocolate/almond combination. You could probably swap out hazelnuts too. It looks like a really lovely cake. I’m putting it on my list.

  28. CupcakeLady says:

    Nice blog, and great recipes!

  29. Emiline says:

    TASTESPOTTING! Whooo!

    Hey, you could make and eat this for passover. Doesn’t passover mean that you can’t eat flour or grains? I don’t know, because I’m not Jewish.

    Oy vey! This looks wonderful.

  30. Pearlsofeast says:

    Oh my god Deborah,Very hard to resit.I need to control my temptation but it is difficult to resit.Looks gorgeous. Almond meal is tastes divine

  31. Chocolate shavings says:

    That looks and sounds very tasty!

  32. Maria says:

    Wow this looks incredible!

    Must look into this book now ;o)

    Maria
    x

  33. Jenny says:

    Hi Deborah,
    I’m sure you’ve got a zillion of these, but I just sent you a blog award on my lastest post. You are great!!

  34. Mary says:

    Well that just looks and sounds fantastic. And I fantasize about have my husband to myself for any holiday.

  35. RecipeGirl says:

    I’m so glad you found a Chocolate Almond Torte that you like! I tried one from Bon Appetit for a dinner party last month and I wasn’t all that impressed. Yours looks much better than mine did though :)

  36. Grace says:

    if it really is as fluffy as it looks, i’m smitten with this cake. i love it when i take a huge bite of something and it melts down to nothing in my mouth. although cotton candy does please me, it’s missing one important component: chocolate. :)

  37. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Deb, this looks so airy and light, and very rich at the same time.
    I too like to balance savory and sweet recipes, but I agree with you that some recipes NEED to be poste

  38. Ann says:

    That looks fabulous. I love simple elegant chocolate tortes.

  39. kat says:

    this sounds just lovely!

  40. Gabi says:

    Almonds and chocolate are a combo that’s hard to beat-Looks delish!
    Love to read about that ham sometime :)
    cheers!

  41. Paola says:

    looks mouthwateringly good! nothing beats a good chocolate cake!

    paola

  42. Cookie baker Lynn says:

    What a gorgeous cake! It would be a truly elegant finish to a meal.

  43. Lina says:

    Oh my god! That looks Craaazy good! I want that please!

  44. Gretchen Noelle says:

    This looks like it would hit the spot! Tasty!

  45. Peabody says:

    All sweet is fine by me. :)
    This torte looks fabulous.

  46. linda says:

    You waiting this long to post about this delicious and beautiful torte? Well it was well worth the wait :)

  47. Passionate baker...& beyond says:

    Absolutely stunning…beuatiful picture too. Have bookmarked this. I love Alice Medrich’s recipes from this book. The way a particular flavour gets accentuated is amazing!I have 3 eggs whites…will collect a few more. Thanks!!

  48. Passionate baker...& beyond says:

    Absolutely stunning…beuatiful picture too. Have bookmarked this. I love Alice Medrich’s recipes from this book. The way a particular flavour gets accentuated is amazing!I have 3 eggs whites…will collect a few more. Thanks!!

  49. Madam Chow says:

    Thanks for dropping by, Deborah! You do a much better job of mixint it up on your blog than I do. I recently realized that by looking at my blog, people must think that all we eat are sweets! And I love Pure Dessert – I made the vodka chocolates, and have many other things bookmarked, including this recipe. Thanks for making it!

  50. Tarah says:

    That is such a beautiful torte! Save me a slice? :]

  51. Cakespy says:

    Oh my–after eating this I could die happy, I think!

  52. Tartelette says:

    It looks wonderful! That would be perfect for a nice coffee break!

  53. Ginny says:

    Delicious! Simple is often the best! :)

  54. The Caked Crusader says:

    I love chocolate and almonds – this looks great.

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