It is the iconic dessert of our island: that’s right, we are talking about the iconic and tasty Torta Caprese. Rich in almonds and cocoa, with a soft texture, it manages to conquer from the first bite. There are two legends that explain its birth, and for both it actually originates from a mistake.
According to the first version, set in Bourbon Naples in the 1700s, Queen Maria Carolina, in a moment of nostalgia for her homeland, asked the palace cooks to make a Sacher cake for her; since none of them knew the recipe, they failed in their intent, but in return they made a very good cake, which will be named precisely Caprese, in homage to the island beloved by Maria Carolina.
The second legend, on the other hand, places the origins of the Caprese cake in the 1920s and features two henchmen of the notorious boss Al Capone sent to Naples on “business” matters, who, having landed in Carmine Di Fiore’s famous pastry shop, asked him to make a cake. The man, caught up in anxiety, forgot to use flour in the dough; however, the result was greatly appreciated by the gangsters and, since then, the pastry chef also reintroduced “la caprese” to his regular customers.
Today the torta caprese is a real cult: a simple but tasty dessert that is rightly counted among the most important of Neapolitan cuisine. Precisely because of this, many original variations of the torta caprese have been devised. Here is the one proposed by chef Salvatore Aprea, for the menu of Da Tonino restaurant.
250 g butter
140 g sugar
60 g yolks
100 g eggs
100 g 00 flour
80 g almond flour
70 g potato starch
Q.b. Dark chocolate chips
4 squares of 70% dark chocolate
Whip the butter with the sugar, add the egg yolks and let it mix; then add the eggs a little at a time. When the mixture has absorbed the eggs, combine all the flours sifted first; top with the chocolate chips.
Grease and flour single-portion aluminum molds and fill halfway with the mixture; then insert the chocolate cube and finish by filling with the mixture. Bake at 180 degrees for about 10 minutes.