Chestnut flour adds a delicate flavour and a soft texture to this otherwise flourless chocolate torte.
The trick to getting this torte just right is using a dark chocolate with a cacao percentage that is not so high that it overwhelms the chestnut flavour. For extra flavour and a little crunch, you can sprinkle the top of the batter with pine nuts and let them toast as the torte bakes. Serve this cake with plain or coffee whipped cream. For the best flavour, bake the cake a day before serving.
115g 60%-64% chocolate, coarsely chopped
8tbs unsalted butter, cut into chunks
4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
100g granulated sugar
¼tsp cream of tartar
55g chestnut flour
3-4tbs raw or lightly toasted pine nuts (optional)
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 190°C.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl set directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is almost completely melted. Remove from the heat and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with half the granulated sugar and the salt until pale and thick. Stir in the warm chocolate. Set aside.
Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or in another large bowl if using a handheld mixer). Beat on medium speed (or on high speed with the handheld mixer) until the egg whites are creamy white and hold a soft shape when the beaters are lifted. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining granulated sugar, beating on high speed until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.
Immediately whisk the chestnut flour into the batter, then scrape about a quarter of the egg whites onto the top of the chocolate batter and fold just until blended. Then fold in the remaining egg whites.
Scrape the batter into a pan and spread to level it out if necessary. Sprinkle the batter with the pine nuts, if using.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out almost clean. Set the pan on a rack to cool completely. The cake will sink and may crack on the surface as it cools.
Slide a slim knife around the sides of the cake to detach it. Remove the pan sides and transfer the cake to a serving platter. The torte may be kept at room temperature, covered or under a cake dome, for at least three days. Sprinkle a little powdered sugar over the top before serving if desired.
Recipe taken from Gluten-free Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich with Maya Klein
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