Chocolate Almond Torte

The other day, Sam Sifton, the NY Times Food Editor, wrote a great article on cooking with confidence.

We’re all looking for the delicious, and recipes are a good way to find it. But the idea that you have to follow an ingredients list closely to do so is bunk and always has been, unless you’re working a restaurant line. And I say that as a recipe merchant! They’re just sheet music. You can play them in all sorts of ways.

Have confidence at this strange, sheltered time!

That has been my mantra for as many years as I can remember. Well… actually, it’s been “Go for it. The worst thing that can happen is you throw it all out and call for pizza.”

But you get the idea… Recipes are guidelines.

It’s particularly true right now, with grocery stores out of key ingredients – I find myself buying what’s there, simply because what I want, isn’t.

Baking is a bit more particular, but it’s still a simple ratio – if a bread recipe calls for 500gr of flour, you can mix and match those flours. You may need to increase or decrease your liquid by a fraction, but… it’s going to work.

Last night we caught an episode of Milk Street and they made a flourless chocolate cake with sliced almonds. Victor looked at it and said it was one we had to make. This morning, I headed into the kitchen.

The recipe called for:

  • sliced almonds – we had whole
  • semi-sweet chocolate – we had baking chocolate and milk chocolate
  • brown sugar – we had demerara

Did that stop me?!? Of course not!

Chocolate Almond Torte

I have no idea what the original was supposed to be like, but this came out stellar! Rich, moist, nutty – just a ton of flavor. The original recipe called for topping the torte with sliced almonds before baking. I didn’t bother – powdered sugar worked just fine.

It’s definitely worth making!

Flourless Chocolate Almond Torte

adapted from Milk Street

  • 2 1/3 cups almonds (original recipe calls for sliced)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 oz baking chocolate
  • 4 oz milk chocolate (original recipe calls for 8 oz bittersweet)
  • 1 cup demerara sugar (original recipe calls for 1 cup packed brown sugar)
  • pinch salt (original recipe calls for 1 tsp)

Heat the oven to 300°F with a rack in the middle position.

Grease 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray, line the bottom with kitchen parchment, then mist the parchment.

Crack the eggs into a liquid measuring cup and add the vanilla; set aside.

In a food processor, process 2 cups of the almonds until finely ground, 20 to 30 seconds. Add the chocolate and pulse until the chocolate is finely ground, 10 to 15 pulses. Add the sugar and salt, then process until well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping the bowl as needed. With the machine running, gradually pour in the egg mixture. Continue processing until the batter is smooth and homogeneous, about another 15 to 20 seconds. Remove the blade and scrape the bowl.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the center feels firm when gently pressed and a toothpick inserted at the center comes out with moist, fudgey crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cake, then invert onto a rack. Peel off the parchment and reinvert the cake onto a platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Gotta say… it came out great.