The aroma of almonds is said to have a strong effect on feelings of sensuality, and when the aroma is wafting from a dreamy, fragrant cake, we’re sure those feelings are intensified. This recipe for Flourless Almond Torte is filled with lovely, wholesome ingredients, and will leave you both sweet and swooning.
This is a light, moist cake with a superb almond flavor that will win everyone over with their first bite. The author Charlie Cascio loves it so much it is the cake he chose for his own wedding.
6 fresh organic eggs
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup sweetener (sugar, maple syrup, or honey*)
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 cups almond meal (see Note)
*If using honey, use only ¼ cup
1. Separate the whites from the yolks of the eggs. Place whites with cream of tartar in a mixing bowl and beat until stiff, but not dry. Gently fold in the sweetener of your choice. Do this slowly so you do not break down the bubbles in the egg whites.
2. Beat the egg yolks and slowly fold them into the mixture as gently as possible. Add vanilla and almond extract. Sprinkle the ground almonds gently into the mixture as you fold to incorporate.
3. A 10-inch springform pan works best with this torte, but any cake pan will do. Lightly oil the bottom only of the pan or line with parchment paper. The torte bakes best when it clings to the sides of the pan. Gently pour the mixture into the pan. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the torte comes out clean.
4. Remove pan from oven and gently slip a knife around the sides of the pan before releasing the springform. Serve with fresh whipped cream and sun-ripened raspberries in the summer, or dried organic cherries in the winter.
Note: Most food processors can’t grind almonds fine enough for this recipe, although it’s possible to use a food processor as long as you have a very sharp chopping blade. Seed grinders work best, if you want to do it yourself. Otherwise, you can buy almond meal in health food stores.
Adapted from Esalen Cookbook, by Charlie Cascio (Gibbs Smith, 2006).
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