When in Italy, it is nearly impossible to finish a meal without having one of the classic delicious Italian desserts. And wherever you are going to eat, you can almost count to find either gelato, panna cotta or tiramisu on the menu.
However, there are many traditional Italian desserts which unfortunately often get overshadowed by the ones everybody around the world knows and loves.
In Italy, a very popular dessert is Torta Caprese, a flourless cake traditionally made with dark chocolate and almonds or walnuts. It has its origins on the famous island of Capri, located only a short boat ride from Naples, where it is still the most favoured local dessert and often served with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.
It might be no coincidence that the traditional Torta Caprese resembles the world-famous Sacher cake from Austria. Legend has it that the cake was originally created for an Austrian princess married to the King of Naples who requested to be served a Sacher cake. However, as the king’s chef was neither in possession of the original recipe, nor had he all the original ingredients, he created an improvised version.
Or it might be simply a coincidence, since another story of the origins of the cake is far more simple, and perhaps more likely. According to this story, and similar to a couple other now famous recipes, Torta Caprese was created by a simple mistake made by a pastry chef who forgot to add flour to the cake he was making, and thus Torta Caprese was born.
When and where Torta Caprese Bianca al Limone was created is unknown but whoever came up with the idea to use white chocolate and add a good splash of limoncello to the mixture was definitely a genius.
If you are looking for a delicious chocolate cake with a twist, this one is definitely perfect for the warmer Spring days ahead.
Lemon Torta Caprese
Ingredients for a baking ban of 26 cm
300 g ground almonds
225 g sugar
225 g butter in small pieces
300 g white chocolate
120 ml limoncello
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 lemons, plus one for garnishing
Preheat oven at 180°C.
In a large bowl, add chopped white chocolate, ground almonds sugar and butter. Blend together with a hand mixer until well combined.
Add the eggs one at a time and blend well together. Add 100 ml of the limoncello, lemon zest and the juice of one and a half lemon. Continue to blend until well combined and homogeneous.
Mix the remining limoncello and a tablespoon of lemon juice together and set aside.
Line a 26 cm baking pan with baking paper, then pour in the mixture.
Bake for about 45 minutes. The surface should turn lightly golden-brown. If it gets too dark, cover the cake with baking paper.
Take out of the oven, let cool slightly then drizzle with the limoncello-lemon mix. Let the cake rest until the next day.
Prior to serving, sprinkle with abundant icing sugar and garnish with some lemon slices.