We probably should have posted this in time for Valentine's day. It's the perfect kind of decadent treat we crave on the lover's holiday. But quite frankly, I've never been one to avoid making a dessert because it's too fancy for a weekday. If it tastes good, you should eat it. And you're definitely going to want to try this.
Chocolate, almonds, and a bit of orange zest combine to make a perfectly divine, and rich, chocolate torte. Can we say tasty? If you look at the directions, you might think this is a bit tricky. But it's really not. Melt some chocolate and butter together (on a double boiler or in the microwave on short bursts of heat, stirring in between). Combine lots of eggs, ground nuts, melted chocolate and the rest of the cake-making ingredients and stir. Whip some egg whites and fold them in. Bake. Done.
Chocolate Almond Torte
Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine
Pictures by Caroline
1 1/4 cups blanched, sliced almonds
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced, plus more for greasing
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped*
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, separated, plus 3 egg yolks
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with butter and coat with the breadcrumbs, tapping out the excess (you only need to go about an inch and a half up the side of the pan, as the torte will not grow that much).
- Toast the almonds on a baking sheet until lightly golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Cool slightly, then pulse in a food processor until finely ground, but not pasty.
- Melt 12 tablespoons butter and the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water). Stir until the chocolate is smooth, then remove from the heat and cool slightly. (You could also do this in the microwave on 30 second bursts, stirring in between).
- Set aside 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Combine the 6 egg yolks and the remaining sugar in a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Add the orange zest, extract and salt, then beat in the melted chocolate until smooth. Mix in the ground almonds until just combined.
- In a clean bowl, beat the 3 egg whites with a mixer until foamy. Gradually beat in the reserved 2 tablespoons granulated sugar on high speed until almost stiff. Stir one-third of the whites into the chocolate batter, then gently fold in the rest. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake until the top is firm and cracked (a toothpick inserted into the cake will be fudgy), 35 to 40 minutes.
- Cool on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove the ring. Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with confectioners' sugar and ice cream, if desired.
*We used a mixture of dark and semi-sweet chocolates. If you like your chocolate a little sweeter, we recommend using more semi-sweet and less bittersweet.