Monday, 15 February 2010
a slice of the action: torta caprese
I'm aware that some people out there in the vast space that is the interwebby think that my blog is, or should be, all about Italian food.
Er, no. It's not.
There are flashes of it on occasion, but this blog was actually named after my very first gastro-memory, and not for my expertise in all things Italian.
Nevertheless, it's certainly the case that Italian food remains high on my list of all-time culinary preferences, not least because - if done properly - it brings back wonderful memories of happy holidays and of several months spent living and working in central and southern Italy in my early twenties.
Those days are sadly long since behind me, but that doesn't stop me trotting out a few old favourites from time to time.
Torta caprese is one of them. Frankly, what's not to love? Chocolate and ground almonds and a few minor supporting ingredients all whisked together to make a light, moist cake which is chocolatey, but far from overwhelmingly so. I've known many a professed non-chocolate eater to tuck into this, pronounce it to be delicious, and to come back for more. I think that says it all, really.
I whirled it out again this last weekend, for a rather indulgent Sunday lunch, and served it together with lightly caramelised blood oranges, which rather livened things up from the aesthetic point of view.
OK, enough yabbering - let's get to the pointy end.
101 Best Loved Chocolate Recipes.
Sophie Grigson's Torta Caprese (serves 8-10)
200g butter, melted and cooled until tepid, plus extra to grease
200g dark chocolate, in pieces
4 large eggs
170g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g ground almonds
Line the base of a 24cm cake tin with baking parchment and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 180C/Gas 4.
Whizz the chocolate in a food processor until finely chopped, but still retaining a little texture.
In a large bowl, beat eggs with sugar and vanilla extract until the sugar has dissolved. Mix in the chocolate, ground almonds, and butter until evenly combined. Spoon mixture into the tin.
Bake for 50-60 mins, until the cake is just firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out.
Dust with icing sugar.