Italian Chocolate-Almond Torte

Here's another incredible dessert from Alice Medrich's Pure Dessert,  a chocolate and almond cake with no flour and no egg yolks. I liked this recipe because it used 7 egg whites. That's helpful for us ice cream-makers!

But turns out there's even more to like. Ground up almonds replace flour, making the cake gluten-free and providing a nutty texture. Only egg whites are used and they are whipped into soft peaks to provide an airy lift. And chocolate. Lots of decadent chocolate! Also ground up, not melted, so super easy. Buon appetito!

Italian Chocolate-Almond Torte 
Adapted from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich
Makes one 9" torte (serves 10)

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the sides of a 9" springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Tip: An easy way to cut to fit is to fold the parchment paper in half, then in half again, then diagonally until you have a skinny pie-wedge shape. Place the point at the center of the pan and then trim the other end using the rim of the pan as your guide.

In a food processor, combine and pulse until chocolate and almonds are finely chopped but not completely pulverized:
7 oz good-quality unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped (200g)
1 cup unblanched or blanched whole almonds (5oz = 142g)
1/2 cup sugar (100g)
1/8 tsp salt
Set aside.

In the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer, beat until soft, moist peaks are formed when beaters are lifted:
7 large egg whites (1 cup = approx. 230g)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Gradually add, while continuing to beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry:
1/2 c sugar (100g)

Add 1/3 of the nut mixture to the egg whites and fold in with a large rubber spatula until nearly incorporated. Fold in half of the remaining nuts, then fold in the rest of the nuts.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly.

Bake until the torte has risen, is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean with a little melted chocolate, about 25-30 minutes.

Set the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan; slip a large, broad spatula, between pan bottom and parchment paper and transfer cake back onto rack to cool completely.

Serve slices dusted with either:
powdered sugar or cocoa

.....and if you're up to it, with a dollop of:
whipped cream

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