Right now, while I am writing this recipe, my caprese cake is already baking in the oven. Can you smell the aroma which is spreading all over my kitchen? A tender delicious cake, without flour, or butter. You’ll simple fall in love with it.
Attending a professional pastry-making course was one of the most interesting and useful experience I have ever had in my life. I got into a professional’s pastry lab thanks to Enrica, a friend of mine. I was, and I am, always very busy with my job, but that time I managed to find out some hours to get out of my studio and attend a wonderful course.
Simone was a very skilled teacher, punctual, accurate, and patient. We made a lot of mouthwatering sweets; easy and difficult too (but this is challenging: the only way to learn new things)! Caprese cake was one of those I baked more successfully.
What does flourless cake mean?
It s easy: this cake doesn’t not have any grain flour, but it is made of almond flour, eggs, chocolate and olive oil. Soft and moist inside, it doesn’t rise much. It fits both vegetarian people and those who suffer from celiac disease as it is completely gluten-free.
What does it taste like?
It is a toothsome soft cake which may be wonderfully paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream; it manly tastes chocolate with some almond scent. Its soft and moist truffle-like core creates a wonderful balance with the the crispy crust-a real melt in your mouth made in Capri delicacy!
Be careful with the baking process
I have learnt a few tricks to bake wonderful cakes, and I would like to share them with you. This cake looks easy to bake, but it hides a dangerous trap: the cooking method.
The core must be moist, but it often gets too moist, almost liquid! Well, a few minutes before the end of the cooking time, insert a skewers in the centre, if it comes out almost clean (with a few crumbs), your caprese cake is done.
If the top of the cake gets too compact, open the oven door, and move the baking pan onto a lower rack: the bottom of the cake will cook evenly without burning its top.
If you want a fluffier texture, beat the egg white to stiff peaks
Beating egg whites to stiff peaks makes your cake fluffy and tender inside, but it also favors a crunchy perfect crust. If you do not beat the eggs, you’’ll save time, but the texture will be quite different.
Carefully choose the right baking pan
To bake caprese cake, opt for an aluminum 4 cm thick baking pan with flared edges. If you do not have it, use an ordinary baking pan; however the result won’t be the same because aluminum provide the best conditions to bake caprese cake perfectly.
What is caprese cake?
When you cook you, you make a few mistakes, don’t you? Sometimes things go wrong at first and you try over and over again to get a good result, and make wonderful dishes. This is what happened when caprese cake was born.
Carmine di Fiore first baked it in 1920: he had to prepare a cake for three Mafia delinquents who had come to Capri from the Us to buy some batches of gaiters from Al Capone. Carmine was quite anxious and he forgot the flour. Well, everybody, the three delinquents included, enjoyed its most and tender texture so much that they asked the pastry chef for the recipe, thus it became the Caprese Cake, something the island has been proud of since then, and not only Capri, but the whole Costiera Amalfitana and Sorrentina Peninsula.
Caprese cake with olive oil and chocolate
- 275 gr eggs
(5 L or XL size eggs)
- 250 gr white sugar
- 250 gr almond flour
(peeled almonds are good too, but you should be very careful when you grind them as the heat of the blades can make almonds sour)
- 100 gr olive oil
- 200 gr dark chocolate
- 15 gr dark cocoa powder
- 15 gr rhum
(a small glass) (the genuine recipe wants Rum , but you may replace it with Gran Marnier, Cointreau or Strega-a typical Italian liqueur, to your taste)
- powdered sugar to garnish
- Use an electric mixer (Kitchen Aid, for instance ) at medium speed to mix the ingredients evenly.
- Beat the yolk and 125g of sugar until lightened in color and fluffy.
- Combine the almond flour, the cocoa powder, and 125g of sugar.
- Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (the bain-marie), heat until melted. If you want to save time, melt it into the microwave. Add the oil and stir to combine well. Set aside to cool down;
- In a mixing bowl, add the mixture of egg and sugar with the one of flour and cocoa, then stir in the melted chocolate.
- Beat the eggs until stiff peaks and add them to the batter.
- Combine well until the batter is smooth.
- Take a round baking pan: 20 cm diameter is the right size to bake a fluffy high cake; if you prefer a thinner cake, divide the batter into two baking pans and reduce the cooking time by 20 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven at 200°C (428°F) and bake for about 40 minutes in static oven (fan oven dries the core of the cakes too much). Insert a skewer in the middle, it must come out with a few moist crumbs attached. It must not be overcooked to retain its moist consistency;
- Take it out of the oven and allow to cool for about 30-40 minutes over a wire rack. Cooling time is very important, because the cake must be completely cold before turning it upside down, otherwise you may break it.
- Remove from the baking pan and dust with powdered sugar.
A fashionable version of Capri and Sorrento: the lemon one
Why don’t you make two small caprese cakes: a chocolate and a lemon one. Replace the chocolate with the zest of two fresh lemons, and the juice of half of them and 10 gr of starch. Divide the batter into two parts: add half of the quantity of chocolate to one part, and the lemon juice to the other. Bake them separately for 20 minutes each: they will be wonderfully toothsome.
How can you store caprese cake?
Store caprese cake in a dry shelf at room temperature in a cake container for 3-4 days.
You may freeze it without powdered sugar; cut it into single serving slices, and take them out of the freezer for special occasions.