DNC News




Chocolate Almond Torte

Subject: Wheat free chocolate almond torte recipe.


I justify the expense of my Cuisinart food processor just so I can make this cake once a year. While it is in the oven I'll share the recipe with you.


As more and more people discover they feel better on a low wheat diet, or even avoiding wheat completely in situations of full blown celiac disease, I frequently hear complaints about the "flour replacements" people have tried in home baking. Honestly, what can you expect from mixtures of garbanzo beans, potato starch and tapioca? 

Instead of trying to replace wheat flour in baking, my suggestion is to find recipes that never required flour in the first place.  This chocolate cake has been my favorite since I first discovered it in Maida Hatter's Book of Great Desserts, 1974 edition.  She called it the Queen Mother's Cake; apparently it was a favorite in the royal palace.

The ratio of ingredient weights in this recipe it a cause of wonder for me.  Ponder this: the cake tastes close to perfect.  Why would evolution balance our taste perception to appreciate such symmetry?

In simple form the recipe could read, "Gather equal weights of chocolate, butter, sugar, almonds and eggs."  Equal portions. Doesn't that intrigue you?  I find it fascinating.

Here is the recipe I just used:

½ pound of semisweet chocolate (8 oz)
½ pound of butter (2 sticks)
½ pound of sugar (1 cup)
½ pound almonds (about 1 ½ cups)
8 eggs separated


The recipe is simple.  Making it isn't.  As the ingredients are simple, pay attention to quality; buy the best.  My preference for chocolate is the Bernard Callebaut chocolate sold in bulk at Sunflower Market on South Colorado Boulevard.  As butter now contains unacceptable amounts toxic materials, I use organic butter from Horizon Dairy. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Grease a springform pan, lining the bottom with baking paper if you have any.  I used a 10 inch pan for this size recipe.
Toast the nuts lightly; melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Grind the nuts in a food processor.  In a pinch, a coffee grinder works, but is tedious.  If you don't have either, go buy one or the other or give up. Separate the eggs.
Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer. Add the yolks one at a time.  Add the melted chocolate. Add the ground nuts. Move this stuff into a large bowl.  Lick the beater clean.

Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry.  A pinch of salt helps.  Fold them into the chocolate mix a quarter at a time.  Turn into your prepared baking pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for twenty minutes then reduce to 350 degrees and bake for another 50 minutes.
Let cool.

Icing
½ cup heavy cream (4 ounces)
½ pound semisweet chocolate (8 oz)
2 teaspoons of instant coffee.

Scald the cream until it just starts to bubble, add the instant coffee and then the chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts, remove from heat and let cool about 15 minutes until you can pour it over the cake without it all running off the cake.  A nice trick is to slip a few sheets of wax paper under the cake before frosting it.  Once frosted and cooled you can pull away the wax paper and remove the spills to taste.

Are you aghast that your naturopath is telling you how to bake such a decadent dessert?  Wait until you taste it.  If you need some help rationalizing this recipe then read our prior articles on chocolate and nuts. I've considered using xylitol instead of cane sugar in this recipe but after paying for the ingredients I'm always nervous about taking risks.


Chocolate articles:
Chocolate to prevent heart disease and cancer: http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/news/chocolate.html

New Healthier Chocolate from Mars:
http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/news/mars.html

Nut articles:
Nuts are good for you:
http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/news/nuts.html


Nuts and cardiac risk:
http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/news/nuts2.html


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