My Granny had a not so secret recipe rating on many of her cards. If it said good it was worth making. If it had a V. Good, or VG in the corner it was a keeper! As you can see from the picture below, this torte has the V. Good label, which means you should definitely try it! It’s pretty perfect Valentine’s Day fare, which is after all the chocolate holiday.
Start by melting your chocolate. It takes a bit to cool, so I like to get my chocolate melting before I turn on the oven to preheat. I use the standard double boiler method as melting chocolate in the microwave never works out for me.
Next you’ll want to beat those egg whites at high speed until the beater begins leaving deep trails through the whites. The egg whites provide all the lift for this dessert so you want them relatively stiff. My advice it to not walk away from the mixer. If you start cleaning up the kitchen while the egg whites are beating you may end up with dry egg whites that won’t blend easily into your batter.
I take the easy way out with separating eggs and just use my clean hands instead of the shell. I remember when Ford and his buddy Luke were in Junior High and making Tres Leches cake for a project for Spanish class and I taught them this foolproof technique. They were both a little grossed out, but hey, it works! Going back and forth with a jagged shell is way more likely to break a yolk and you need ALL the precious egg whites for this dessert.
You will notice that the recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of Matzo Meal which I was not able to find at my local grocery store this time. I skipped it and added 3 additional tablespoons of ground almonds, which is something I have done many times in order to make this a gluten free dessert. I don’t really notice a difference between using them or not, but obviously I’m going to be true to my Granny’s original recipe here! Next time I’ll order the Matzo Meal online to make sure I can find it. (I’m having to do that more and more. I have a scone recipe I really want to share with you all that calls for powdered buttermilk and I am also having a hard time finding that.)
While the torte is in the oven you can make the frosting. Since it is not a large quantity of frosting and I have a ginormous mixer I take the bowl and paddle off the machine to give it a thorough scraping of the sides and bottom of the bowl before the final mix. You do not want streaks of butter in your frosting! I also highly recommend using Meyers Dark Rum for the frosting, it has great flavor.
I will say that frosting this can be a little tricky because sometimes the edges of the torte want to peel up into the frosting. I avoid this by starting with the sides and then piling all the remaining frosting in the center of the torte and spreading outward to the edges. If it does peel up a little just dust some additional ground almonds on the top to hide any imperfections. And use a small offset spatula if you have one, they are great for frosting cakes.
I also skip the final egg yolk in the frosting. I’m ok with raw egg in Caesar salad dressing, but somehow it bothers me in frosting. I also think it is a little creamier without it. Since I know you will want to make this more than once, try it both ways and let me know what you prefer in the comments section. Maybe you all will win me over to throwing that last yolk in next time I bake it!
This torte is an impressive dessert. And one of the best things about it is you can make it well ahead. It keeps for several days in the fridge, but it also freezes really well. Wrap the entire frosted torte in a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil and freeze for up to a month. When you defrost the torte let it defrost completely in the foil before unwrapping. That way all the condensation will be on the foil. I once unwrapped it frozen and let it thaw on a plate and there was a lot of condensation on the actual torte, so I won’t be doing that again!
Chocolate Almond Torte
- Spring Form Pan
- 6 large eggs separated
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 6 oz semisweet chocolate melted and cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups ground almonds
- 3 tbsp Matzo Meal
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
- yolk of 1 large egg optional
- 1 oz semisweet chocolate melted and cooled
- 1 oz unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled
- 1 tsp rum
- Preheat oven to 325°, thoroughly grease a 8" or 9" spring form pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer beat egg whites at high speed until beater leaves deep trails. Beat in 1/3 cup sugar 2 tablespoons at a time. Egg whites will be stiff and glossy (but not dry). Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
- In mixer bowl (it is not necessary to wash the bowl) beat first 1/2 cup butter until creamy. Beat in remaining 1/3 cup sugar. Beat in 5 yolks, 1 at a time, at low speed.
- Beat in chocolate and extracts. At low speed mix in almonds and Matzo Meal. Remove from mixer.
- Stir in 1/4 of egg whites. Fold in the remaining egg whites gently. Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until torte starts to pull away from sides of pan.
- Remove from oven and transfer to wire cooling rack. Cool for 10-15 minutes before loosening spring form pan, cool completely before icing.
- While torte is cooling prepare the icing. Beat remaining 1/2 cup butter until creamy. Beat in powdered sugar one third at a time.
- Beat in egg yolk (if using), melted chocolates, and rum. Scrape sides and bottom of mixer bowl well, beat again 1-2 minutes.
- Frost torte, sprinkle with ground almonds for decoration if desired
- Store in refrigerator, keeps well for 3-5 days. Freezes well, wrap in aluminum foil and defrost completely in foil before opening frozen torte. Best served at room temperature.