Extra Virgin Chocolate Almond Torte
- Yield: 12 servings
- Scant 1/2cups (2 ounces) natural or blanched whole almonds, or 1/2 cup (2 ounces) almond meal
- 2tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 6ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
- 1/2cup flavorful extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1/8teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4large eggs, separated at room temperature
- 3/4cup (5.25 ounces) sugar
- 1/8teaspoon cream of tartar
- Flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease the bottom and sides of the springform pan with olive oil.
- If using whole almonds, pulse them with the flour in the food processor until finely ground. Otherwise simply mix the almond meal and flour together.
- Put the chocolate, olive oil, and fine sea salt in a large heatproof bowl, preferably stainless steel, set it in a wide skillet of barely simmering water, and stir occasionally until the chocolate is nearly melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir the chocolate until it is completely melted and smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks and ½ cup of the sugar. Set aside.
- With the electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean, dry bowl at medium speed until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining ¼ cup sugar, then beat at high speed until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.
- Use a large rubber spatula to fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Scrape the remaining egg whites into the bowl, pour the almond mixture on top, and fold just until the egg whites and almonds are evenly incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the torte comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Set the pan on a rack to cool. Slide a thin knife or a small metal spatula around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake and allow the thin crust on top to sink (slightly) as the cake cools. Let cool completely. Remove the pan sides and transfer the cake to a serving platter. The torte can be kept at room temperature, covered or under a cake dome, for at least 3 days, or frozen, well wrapped, for up to 3 months; bring to room temperature before serving. Serve slices with a drizzle of olive oil and a few flakes of flaky sea salt.
Excerpted from Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich (Artisan Books). Copyright 2012.