Torta caprese, or la torta caprese, is essentially an Italian cake. It is a traditional preparation of the region and in addition to being a regular on the menus of restaurants, eateries and cafes, the dessert is also a common household preparation, which ismade with chocolate and walnuts or almonds. It is an important preparation in Italy and almost always a part of celebrations and special occasions.
Sometimes, a bit of Strege liqueur is added to the cake for flavor. Being a dessert, this is a sweet preparation which is slightly crumbly. The name of the dish is a direct reference to the Island od Capri.
When made in the most traditional way, the cake is a perfect dessert for people who are wheat intolerant as this is a completely gluten free preparation.
Torta Caprese: History
While there are various local tales about how the dish came into being, the most popular theory links the invention to a mistake made by a master chef. The chef was actually making another popular dish but he either added some uncalled-for ingredients or forgot to add ones that were required; flour was in particular left out. While it is largely unknown as to which dish was to be made originally, a new preparation was born which, even without flour, tasted like a really good cake should.
There is another theory about the origin of the dish which also indicates that it was actually the result of a mistake. Chef Carmine Di Fiore, while cooking in a restaurant in Capri, received an order to bake an almond and chocolate cake by 3 gangsters from America. In a rush to make the cake, the chef forgot to put flour. The gangsters however liked the dish and asked for the recipe, and thus was born the flour-less chocolate and almond cake.
Common Ingredients Used in Preparation of La Torta Caprese
Dark chocolate, sugar, eggs, vanilla extracts, almonds, butter and icing sugar are the traditional ingredients used to make torta caprese. Over the years, the dish has not changed all that much and the only exception is that sometimes walnuts are used instead of almonds. At times, cheese is added to make the cake softer and the garnish generally consists of halved strawberries and/or raspberries.
Preparation of La Torta Caprese
Torta caprese is categorized as a moderately-easy preparation and it takes 90 minutes to bake it.To make the cake, the ingredients are all prepared as required and then mixed to make the cake batter. The batter is then baked for about 60 minutes and once done the cake is cut into pieces.
Serving and Eating Torta Caprese Cake
As it is a dessert, the cake is mostly served as the last course of a major lunch or dinner meal. It is also a popular tea-time snack and is served alongside beverages as well. Torta caprese can be served warm, at room temperature or chilled, with or without icing. Traditionally, a scoop of vanilla ice cream is served with a slice of the cake.