Posted on Wednesday, 25th May 2011 by Grace Massa Langlois
It’s amazing how things happen in life. And it’s even more amazing when something comes to you and you didn’t know you really wanted it until it arrives. And it’s arrived – thank you Ulysses Press for this incredible opportunity! Grace’s Sweet Life goes to print! It’s been extremely difficult keeping the wonderful news quiet and I am so very happy the day has come that I can finally share the good news with all of you.
My cookbook will feature Italian Desserts (My Mom is over the moon happy about this! And so am I!) I’m sending you, my readers, a great big thank you! Thank you for taking the time to visit, for trying my recipes, for commenting and most of all for sharing. I wouldn’t be in this wonderful place if not for your support.
I thought it fitting to share not only an Italian Cake, but also a Chocolate Dessert – Torta Caprese (Flourless Chocolate Torte with Almonds and Hazelnuts) with you today. It’s one of my favourites because it’s rich in chocolate flavour, moist and it’s packed full with almonds and hazelnuts.
I started my blog a little over a year ago because my children, Liana and Matthew, pushed me to do something with my passion for food. I think they realized how much I missed my career and more so I think they knew I needed to fill a much deeper need, a need to have a sense of purpose again and also the need to belong to a community.
The blog started as a hobby but I’ve learned so much along the way, SEO, marketing, social media…the list is endless. I’ve made mistakes, at times I wish I could’ve crawled under a rock from embarrassment, but the food community and the social media communities have been very understanding and supportive. I’ve learned to pick myself up, move forward and learn from those mistakes and thankfully I’ve grown.
And more importantly I have met so many wonderful, caring and helpful people. I’ve made so many new friends, friendships that I will cherish forever, in and out of the food community. Who knew you could build such strong friendships with people you’ve never met face to face? But it happens and it’s wonderful!
I want to take this opportunity to thank three very important people, Marly (NamelyMarly), Jeanette (JeanettesHealthyLiving) and Debra (SmithBites). Their support, friendship and guidance have meant more than I can put into words. It’s not often you meet people in life that truly accept you for who you are, help you to achieve your goals, support you when you’re down and are genuinely happy for you when good things come your way. Ladies you are the best! – Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
How do I thank the two most important people in my life, my children? They have been remarkable, patient and supportive. Liana, Matthew – with all of my heart, I love you both!
I’ve added a new section to the site, My Book where I will keep you updated on my book. I am especially fortunate to be working with a wonderful publishing house. For the last two years, Ulysses Press has been named one of Publisher’s Weekly’s ten “fastest-growing small publishers”. It has been a great pleasure working with the acquisitions editor, Keith Riegert, and I am looking forward to working with the rest of the Ulysses’ family.
I leave you with this quote by Eli Khamarov, “The best things in life are unexpected – because there were no expectations”.
Torta Caprese – Flourless Chocolate Torte with Almonds and Hazelnuts
Makes 1 25-cm (10-inch) round cake
**Special Note - If you can’t find the Paneangeli it can be left out. I have never been able to get the straight answer on a proper substitution. It is generally available at Italian bakeries, some grocery stores and definitely online. I like the flavour it provides and it is something my Mother uses in all her Italian baking.
- 6 large eggs, separated
- Unsalted butter, room temperature, to grease cake tin
- Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting cake tin
- 200 g (7 ounces) good quality dark chocolate 70% or bittersweet 60%
- 200 g (14 tablespoons 0r 1¾ sticks) unsalted butter
- 7 g (1 tablespoon) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 200 g (¾ cup + 2 tablespoons) caster (superfine granules) sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 200 g (2 cups) toasted almonds, finely ground
- 100 g (2/3 cup) toasted hazelnuts, finely ground
- 16 g (1 package) Paneangeli “Lievito Pane Degli Angeli” Vaniglinato – per Dolci (Yeast for Cake)
- Cocoa powder or confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar), to dust, optional
- Sweetened Whipped Cream, optional
- Separate cold eggs, place yolks in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup and place whites in a medium bowl, cover both with plastic wrap, set-aside to allow eggs to come to room temperature, 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F). Using pastry brush grease a 25-cm (10-inch) round cake tin. Line base of cake tin with a non-stick baking paper round; lightly grease paper. Dust base and sides of cake tin with cocoa powder; remove any excess cocoa powder, set-aside.
- In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of just simmering water stir together chocolate and butter over low heat until both have melted and mixture is smooth.
- Remove from heat and add cocoa powder; stir to combine, set-aside to cool for 3 minutes.
- Add egg yolks; using a wooden spoon stir to well combine.
- Gradually add sugar and salt, stirring to well combine.
- Add both nut meals and stir to just combine.
- Add the lievito per dolci (yeast for cake), stirring to well combine.
- Using handheld electric mixer beat egg whites at high speed to a soft peak.
- Using large flexible spatula fold egg whites into chocolate mixture, in three additions, just to combine.
- Transfer cake batter to prepared baking tin. Tap cake tin on counter a couple of times to release any air bubbles that may have formed.
- Bake, rotating tin halfway through baking, until a cake tester inserted in centre of cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 45 to 55 minutes (begin testing cake at 45 minutes and do not open oven door within first 15 minutes of baking).
- Transfer torta to wire rack and allow cooling in tin for 5 minutes. Carefully remove torta from baking tin, remove baking paper and return to wire rack to cool completely. (I keep a cardboard round handy for cakes that need to be inverted while still warm. I place the round on top of the tin, flip the cake over, remove the tin and baking paper and then I place the wire rack on top of the cake and I then flip again. I find this method works quite well and thankfully I haven’t had a cake fall apart yet using this method.)
- Transfer torta to cake plate or cake stand; dust with cocoa or confectioners’ sugar (traditional) and serve with sweetened whipped cream.
- Buon Appetito!
Tags: after school treat, afternoon tea, almonds, cake, cakes, chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate dessert, dessert, desserts, flourless chocolate cake, food, food photography, food photos, hazelnut, Italian Cakes, Italian dessert, Italian desserts, quick desserts
Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Cakes & Cheesecakes, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Torte