Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Another Flourless Cake: Torta Regina

Emily Luchetti's "Torta Regina" is not photogenic (in my kitchen, anyway, with the lack of fancy china) but is so delicious and different that it deserves a post. It has only four main ingredients (chocolate, hazelnuts, eggs, sugar) and two flavorings (orange and lemon zest).

Although it is a "flourless cake," it is not at all like the archetypal gooey chocolate bomb. This one is light and has an interesting texture.

Luchetti recommends serving the cake with orange custard sauce and caramel or hazelnut ice cream. Epicurious has two recipes for custard sauce that could probably be flavored with a strip or two of orange zest (recipe one, recipe two).

Torta Regina
Adapted from Emily Luchetti's Classic Stars Desserts

5 1/2 oz. hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
5 1/2 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons orange zest
6 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar (divided -- half for the yolks, half for the whites)

(Unit conversion page)

Line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the hazelnuts, chocolate and zests in a food processor. Use pulses to grind the mixture to a fine powder.

Place the egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar into the bowl of a mixer, with the whisk attached. Whip the mixture on high speed for about 3 minutes (probably longer with a hand-held mixer), until the volume of the egg-sugar mixture has increased a bit. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Set the mixer to low speed, and add the ground nut-chocolate mixture. The batter will be stiff. If you have only one bowl for your stand mixer, transfer the yolk-nut-chocolate mixture to a bowl big enough to hold the entire batter (the egg whites will added to the yolk-nut-chocolate mixture later on). Clean your mixing bowl very well (a tiny speck of fat can interfere with the egg white foam process, as explained thoroughly in McGee's On Food and Cooking).

Pour the egg whites into the clean mixing bowl. Use the whisk attachment, and whip on medium speed until frothy, then increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks form. With the mixer running at high, gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Whip the mixture until stiff peaks form.

Fold one third of the egg whites into the yolk-nut-chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in half of the remaining egg whites, then fold in the rest. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan.

Bake the cake for about 25 minutes. A cake tester should come out clean when the cake is done. Cool the cake in the pan.

Random link from the archive: Whole Lemon Lemonade

Technorati tags: Baking : Food


ByTheBay said...

Sounds delicious! And perfect for Passover, so I might just try it out.

anusharaji said...

good recipe
esp without flour

shuna fish lydon said...

this sounds delicious.
but the word cake means it has flour. Emily calls it a torte because that's how we Americans say something that is without flour...

I make something like this for Passover. I also love that the texture isn't rich and gooey, but light & chocolaty.

Marc said...

Shuna wrote: "but the word cake means it has flour."

I suppose I have been playing fast and loose with definitions, and I'll try to avoid the apparent contradiction in terms of "flourless cake" in the future.