February: Dark Chocolate Torta Caprese Style

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Torta Caprese Al Cioccolato-

Torta finish B with script 2

Buon giorno!

One of the interesting facts about Italian regional cooking is that there are different names for the same or similar dish as you move from region to region. The recipes may vary slightly, but they are essentially the same. An example of this is the simple Chocolate Torte. The one we look at here is the Neapolitan version of this torte –  DARK CHOCOLATE TORTA CAPRESE STYLE  or Torta Caprese Al Cioccolato. This torta is representative of the Caprese style version or the type made in the region of Campania.

Campania, the region of Naples, Capri, and Sorrento  – is boastful of its history, music, and soul – and with good reason. The people of this region live life out loud with drama and spontaneity at the foot of an active volcano. Life to the people of Campania is best lived with abandon and painted with love in the bold colors of its people and spirit.

Their torte or torta is not only dense, but also rich, gooey, moist and  – everything you want in a dark dramatic chocolate dessert that is seductive and sexy. This is it! It lacks a lot of flour, and instead, calls for ground almonds as is the way of many Italian cakes. It contains several eggs and may almost appear to be underdone when finished. It is best when it sits a while or is refrigerated and then presented several hours later or allowed to sit overnight. Then the slices are firm.

This DARK CHOCOLATE TORTA is the dessert you must seek for romantic dinners, Valentine’s Day or a treat for chocolate lovers. This is your dark, handsome paramour or inamorata, waiting to be summoned!

When love calls…beckon forth…

DARK CHOCOLATE TORTA CAPRESE STYLE

 

Makes: One 9 inch cake

Ingredients

1 ½ sticks butter – cut into pieces

8 oz. Good dark chocolate – I like 60-70% cocoa – broken into pieces

½ c. sugar

¾ c. brown sugar

6 large eggs

1 tsp. Almond Extract

1 c. ground almonds (grind in food processor)

1 Tbsp. Flour

1 ½ Tbsp. Cocoa

Powdered sugar and cocoa for dusting

Instructions

Grease a 9 inch spring form pan.

Melt butter and chocolate together in a double boiler or in a bowl over boiling water. Mix well & cool down.

Torta Caprese 2

In a mixer bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and almond extract.

Torta Caprese 1

Add the chocolate butter mixture, and incorporate well.

Add ground almonds, flour, and cocoa.

Torta Caprese 3

Mix together and pour into prepared pan.

Torta Caprese 4

Bake in a 350 degree oven until firm in the center – about 40 minutes. Time will depend on how hot your oven is. This is a very moist cake! Do not over cook it!

Remove sides of spring form and let cool.

Sift powdered sugar mixed with cocoa over the top of the cake.

Serve with whipped cream or berries.

Here is another serving idea – cut into squares.

Torta Capresa with script 1

DARK CHOCOLATE TORTA CAPRESE STYLE says love in every language!

PARLA COME MANGI!

Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.

LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE

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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

 

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Comments

  1. Perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day.

  2. I just found this site through Carole’s Chatter, and I’m sure glad I did! Your words paint a stunning picture of Campania; someday I hope to enjoy a cake like this in that beautiful land!

  3. On Lydia’s program she separates the egg whites and beats them until stiff and folds them into batter. No mention of this in her recipe. I conferred with other recipes for torta and they all separate and fold in egg whites.

    Is this correct?
    Thank you!

    Here is another serving idea – cut into squares.OR

    • Merrie – there are several versions of this recipe according to which region you refer to. Some separate the eggs – some do not. This is common with many Italian recipes – same dish with some differences. I have used this torta cut into squares for meetings and gatherings. It works well as long as you let it set and cool completely after baking. Overnight it good! Thank you!

  4. Marti Faytko says:

    Linda – As a novice baker, I don’t know the purpose of a spring form pan vs. a regular pan. (Obviously I don’t own one!) I’ve missed making a few of your recipes because of this. Why a spring form pan? And, in the last photo above, did you bake this in a regular square pan? Thanks! Marti

    • Marti – A great question! A springform pan is a great cooking tool to own. You would use it more than you think! It is a pan used for desserts and some savory items when you want to remove the sides of the pan and be able to place the whole dessert or item on a serving plate after cooling rather than serve it piece by piece from a pan. It makes a prettier presentation. As to the last photo where you see the dessert served in tiny squares – you can do this either by using a square pan or using the springform but cutting it into narrow rectangular pieces and cutting squares from them.

      • Marti Faytko says:

        Thanks, Linda, for the explanation. If it ever stops snowing & icing things up around here, I’ll go shopping this weekend for a spring form pan. May the baking adventures begin!

  5. Rose Alilio says:

    I would like to try the recipe above but being diabetic how would I substitute the sugar with agave nectar or Splenda?

    • Rose – The recipe was written for sugar only but the Splenda website offers conversion advice. I recommend that you visit the website at: http://www.splenda.com Enter your question about “how to convert sugar to splenda” in the search box and they will give you tips on doing this. There is a good bit on the internet about conversions from sugar to other substances also.