Chocolate and Almond Tart
Torta Caprese
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). On the stove, bring a saucepan half filled with water to a boil. Then turn off the heat. Put chocolate in the double boiler over the hot water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate melts to a fluid and smooth consistency. Remove from heat and cool down to room temperature.

Butter a 10” inch (25 cm) round pan.Dust with chocolate powder.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter until soft. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy.
Add the egg yolks one at the time, beating for a while after adding each one. Beat in the cooled chocolate, then the almonds. Run the paddle until all is well combined.

Beat the egg whites in a bowl with a pinch of salt until peaks form. Fold the beaten egg whites in several batches into the chocolate mix using a large rubber spatula and mixing with a gentle top to bottom motion.
Pour the mix into the pan and level the top with a flat spatula. Bake for about 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 F (175 C). Bake about 30 minutes longer until the center is cooked.

** NOTE **
Test readiness by inserting a toothpick in the center. When the cake is ready, the toothpick will come out perfectly dry. Don’t overcook the cake, otherwise it will loose its moisture and softness.

Let the cake cool to room temperature loosely covered with a kitchen cloth. Run the blade of a knife along the walls of the pan to detach the cake, but do not remove it. Place the pan on a wet towel to cool instead. Un-mold when cold. Serve lukewarm sprinkled with powdered sugar.

As an alternative, Torta Caprese can be served with an optional chocolate icing:
Place the cream in a saucepan on medium heat until hot, but not boiling. Remove from the stove and add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is fluid and smooth.
When the chocolate icing is cooler, spread it on top and on the sides of the cake. Cool until lukewarm. Do not refrigerate, otherwise the chocolate icing will harden.

8 oz (220 g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

unsweetened chocolate powder for dusting

1 cup (220 g) butter, lukewarm

6 oz (180 g) sugar

8 eggs, separated

2-2/3 cups (220 g) almonds, finely ground

pinch of salt

powdered sugar, for finishing

optional icing:

1 cup (120 cc) heavy cream

8 oz (240 g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped