Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Flourless Almond Torte with Chocolate Coffee Sauce

Pin It When I saw this recipe, I immediately thought of my good friends Andrew and Juan, who make the most divine Chocolate Flourless Cake. Now, these two are hosts par excellence, and an evening at their home is the epitome of what a great dinner party should be. I must say I have learned a lot from them and some of the things I have observed only serve to reinforce what I have already learned and applied to my own dinner parties. I want to write a separate post on entertaining soon so I won't digress from this wonderful dessert.

This recipe is from the book Effortless Elegance by Colin Cowie, one of the West Coast's preeminent caterers and event planners. In this book, he applies the same principles he uses in creating some of the most famous parties in LA to entertaining at home. It is ironic that I would find this recipe in his book considering how I feel about my friends Andrew and Juan's entertaining style. Just a coincidence? perhaps...

Flourless Almond Torte

2 1/2 C blanched almonds
1 1/2 C sugar
Dash salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Grated peel of 1 lemon
Powdered sugar
Chocolate Coffee Sauce (see following recipe)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Butter a 10 inch spring form pan, then line it with wax paper. Butter the wax paper.

3. In a food processor, combine the sugar and almonds. Process until almonds are finely ground. Set aside

4. Separate 4 of the eggs, placing the yolks in a large bowl and reserving the whites. Add the remaining eggs, along with the salt, vanilla, and lemon peel, to the bowl with the yolks and beat to blend well. Gradually beat in the almond mixture. The mixture will become very thick.

5. In a large bowl of a electric mixer, beat the reserved whites until they are stiff but not dry. Gently fold them into the batter, a third at a time.

6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and bake for 45 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center of cake comes out clean.

7. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack. Remove the sides of the pan and sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar. Serve with Chocolate Coffee Sauce.

Chocolate Coffee Sauce

1 1/4 C milk
1 vanilla bean, split
1 TB unsweetened cocoa powder
1 TB finely ground coffee
2 egg yolks
2 TB sugar


1. In a saucepan, bring the milk with the vanilla bean to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat.

2. Transfer 2 TB of the hot milk to a bowl and stir in the cocoa powder and the coffee. Set aside.

3. In another bowl, beat the yolks and the sugar until light. Set aside.

4. Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the insides into the milk. Discard the bean.

5. Stir a small amount of the hot milk into the yolk mixture, then stir the yolk mixture, along with the cocoa mixture, into the pan of milk. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the sauce begins to thicken and coats the back of a metal spoon, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and stir for 1 minute to cool slightly.

Cooks Note: This is a great cake to serve for Passover.

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