Le Meridien Gurgaon's Roberto Apa shares his recipe for a traditional Torta Caprese from his own kitchen
His aunt’s Torta Caprese cake was one of the first things which chef Roberto Apa learnt to make. The chef’s journey started in his grandmother’s kitchen and has since moulded him into a seasoned professional chef, with an experience of over 15 years, in kitchens all over the world, including ones with Michelin cred. Having studied professionally at AMLA – The National Academy of Italian Cuisine, gave Roberto an insight into the history of Italian and international cuisines, and he went on to master Italian cooking over the next few years. Apa also happens to be the new Head Chef of Bella Cucina, Le Méridien Gurgaon where he will be creating experiential dining experiences.
We actually got the chef to share his famous Torta Caprese recipe with us; Torta Caprese is a traditional chocolate cake made with whole almonds and softened butter. The cake is usually associated with Capri but can be found all across Europe. Here’s all that you’ll need to make it.
1 3/4 sticks (7/8 cup) unsalted butter
7 ounces (1 1/4 cups) blanched whole almonds
6 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
Garnish: confectioners sugar
Accompaniment: whipped cream
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. and butter a 10-inch cake pan. Line bottom of pan with a round of wax paper and butter paper.
2. Melt butter and cool. In a food processor finely grind together almonds and chocolate. Separate eggs.
3. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat yolks with granulated sugar until very thick and pale and beat in almond mixture and butter.
4. In another bowl with cleaned beaters beat whites with a pinch salt until they just hold stiff peaks and whisk one fourth into almond mixture. Fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly and spread batter evenly in pan.
5. Bake torte in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes, or until it begins to pull away from the side of the baking pan and a tester comes out with moist crumbs adhering. Cool torte on a rack for five minutes and invert onto another rack. Discard wax paper and cool torte completely. Invert torte onto a plate. Torte may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
6. Dust torte with confectioners sugar and serve with ice cream.