This traditional Italian torte is at once rich, light, fluffy and decadent. It is an impressive gluten free dessert to share and keeps well for a week or more at room temperature. A gâteau from Stephane Reynaud’s whimsical French cookbook Ripailles inspired my simple version below, which is always a hit.
For the torte pictured, I folded freshly picked lavender flowers into the whipped chantilly cream, which was a lovely aromatic and floral note alongside the fresh blueberries and violas. I’ve also listed my favorite variations below– experiment away!
Flourless Chocolate Almond Torte
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate (chips or roughly chopped)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 5 large eggs, separated
- pinch sea salt
- Whipped cream to garnish (see recipe), fresh fruit, or edible flowers
…my favorite variations:
- À l’orange: 2 tbsp Grand Marnier and the zest of an orange
- Swedish: 1 tbsp vanilla and a big dash of cardamom
- Mexican: A dash each of cinnamon and cayenne pepper
- Mocha: 1 tbsp finely ground espresso and 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust with cocoa powder, shaking out excess.
- In the microwave, 20 seconds at a time, melt the butter and chocolate gently until they smoothly blend together in a small bowl. Do not overheat.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar with a mixer until pale yellow, which will take a few minutes. Stir in the chocolate and butter mixture, then the ground almonds and salt, then any ingredients from the listed variations, if using.
- In a large clean bowl, beat the eggs whites until stiff peaks form.
- Working with one third of the egg whites at a time, gently fold into the chocolate mixture until only small bits of white remain. Avoid over folding, as the small bits will disappear with baking.
- Gently pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan, garnish and serve warm or chilled. Bask in your newfound glory after sharing this decadent treat!