Yesterday when we were putting together dinner — of Mushroom Pea Tartlets with a side of carrot sticks, if you’re asking — we were thinking we’d like a dessert. We had planned to make Buttermilk Sweet Potato Pie, but, like the best laid plans this one went awry all because of bread. See, we made bread dough yesterday morning, which meant we had leftover starter, and that means we’ll make sourdough pancakes, which used up the buttermilk, so we had to make more, but that won’t be done for 24 hours, which means no Buttermilk Sweet Potato Pie last night.
Instead, we brought out an old recipe that we used to have moderately regularly, but then stopped. Not sure why, as this makes a really good torte, and it’s simple enough to put together from ingredients that you probably already have on hand. We originally found this recipe on the back of a Hersey’s European Style Cocoa box, so you can be sure that it calls for Hersey’s European Style Cocoa; we didn’t have any (does Hersey’s even make that anymore?), so we used Vahlrona Cocoa, which we find to be much better.
Makes 1 9-inch torte
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup toasted almonds, very finely chopped
We’ve used sliced almonds in the past for this torte, and they worked perfectly. If you have some, or are buying almonds for this torte, we’d suggest the sliced. We didn’t have enough, so we went with raw almonds (we toasted them in the oven for 10 minutes at 350°F) and chopped like crazy. Even so, we didn’t get the pieces quite small enough. For the cocoa, use a Dutch-processed cocoa; it’s processed with alkali to remove the bitterness in the cocoa, making for a smoother-tasting torte. Eggs need to be those free-rangers, and our vanilla is homemade, of course.
Procedure in detail:
Prepare pan. Line a 9-inch diameter round cake pan with a piece of baking parchment and butter lightly. We had an 8-inch pan, so we did a couple of very small tortes, too.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cream batter. Using a mixer, cream together the sugar, eggs, melted butter, salt, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add cocoa and flour. Stir in the cocoa and flour, then blend well.
Add almonds. Stir in the almonds, and your batter is done.
Bake. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then invert to remove from pan. Remove parchment paper, and let cool completely.
Serve. And enjoy.
This recipe originally came with a glaze. We’ve omitted it here, because we think that this torte can stand on its own. It’s already nicely sweet, but not too sweet, and rich and luscious. We think that any additions would just be a detraction. Bottom line: Super Easy + Super Tasty = Five Stars!