Torta Caprese (Caprese Cake) is a Neapolitan cake typical of the Isle of Capri, based on dark chocolate and almonds, with a very soft heart and a heavenly taste!
An exquisite dessert like few others, which has very ancient origins; its creation dates back to 1920 due to a mistake by the Caprese pastry chef Carmine di Fiore, who was intent on preparing his almond cake to be served to three American criminals who came to Capri to buy a batch of Al Capone’s gaiters; probably in a hurry, he forgot to add the dose of flour to the cake! At the end of cooking, however, to the utmost astonishment, the cake was not only delicious, but of a unique delicacy: soft inside and crunchy on the outside, so much good, that even the three Americans were ecstatic, asking the pastry chef for the recipe that since then took its name of Torta Caprese, becoming the undisputed pride of the Island of dreams and soon also of the Amalfi Coast and the Sorrento Peninsula.
Melt the chopped chocolate with the butter in a bain-marie.
Place on a low heat and stir constantly until a smooth mixture is obtained without small pieces.
Set the chocolate mixture aside.
Separate the yolks from the whites.
Whip the egg yolks with 80 grams of sugar and the orange peel for a few minutes until the mixture is frothy and smooth.
Add the liqueur.
Add the melted chocolate to the egg yolk mixture. Help yourself with electric whips to assemble the mixture and make it smooth and velvety.
Add the almond flour or the peeled almonds reduced to a powder. This time mix the mixture with a spatula.
Beat the egg whites with the rest of the sugar until stiff.
Gradually mix the egg whites with the spatula from the bottom upwards, trying not to disassemble the mixture.
You will see that the final dough will take on a velvety and swollen appearance.
Grease perfectly a baking pan with butter and flour it. Pour the Caprese cake mixture and level the surface as much as possible.
To obtain the right cooking of the Caprese, moist inside and crunchy on the outside, follow these tricks to avoid mistakes: 1. use static oven (the ventilated oven dries and dries particularly the heart of the cakes!) 2. Preheat the oven to 180 ° before inserting the cake, which is therefore very hot. 3. Cook in the middle of the oven for about 30 to 35 minutes.
After 30 minutes of baking, do the toothpick test: the crust will have already formed and the heart must be moist. Not overly wet but damp.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for at least 30 - 40 minutes. This step is essential: if you flip the Caprese immediately, you risk breaking it.
Then, with the round-tipped knife, surround the contours of the pan and place the Caprese cake on a serving plate. When the cake is completely cold, sprinkle the icing sugar and enjoy!
Cooking times can vary from oven to oven, but remember that chocolate Caprese must be moist inside! So as a rule for an 18 cm mold the time never exceeds 35 - 38 minutes.
If you like you can put half almond flour and half hazelnut flour. Also, you can substitute liqueur with vanilla flour.
The Caprese cake can be stored at room temperature, in a cool place, under a glass bell for 3-4 days. It is possible to freeze the cake, preferably without icing sugar; to make it easier you can already cut it into portions.