flourless chocolate torte

1 lb bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup ground almonds
2 Tbsp Amaretto (optional)
2 tsp vanilla
6 eggs, separated
a pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch springform cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Break up the chocolate and melt in a pan over low heat, stirring often. When melted, take off heat and stir in butter, sugar, almonds, Amaretto and vanilla.

Beat egg yolks. Stir into cooling chocolate mixture. At this stage you have to mix eggs in quite vigorously and make sure the chocolate mixture isn't too hot, otherwise you'll end up with scrambled eggs and chocolate.

Beat egg whites with salt until they form stiff peaks, then fold them into the chocolate mixture a little at a time until you've got a nice even chocolatey batter.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour. The middle will rise and crack a bit, but that's fine. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature in the pan.

Remove the sides of the pan before serving. This is quite a moist torte, so slicing with a wet knife is advisable as it keeps the slices looking neater. You can sprinkle the whole thing with icing sugar or top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream. I like it with strawberries or raspberries too.

NOTE: when buying chocolate, get the good stuff. The better the chocolate, the better the cake.

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