This torte has the light texture and deep chocolaty appeal of a flour-less chocolate cake but it’s a little easier to handle because the small amount of flour gives it some structure. The espresso makes the torte not too sweet; use decaf if you have guests who don’t drink regular coffee after dinner.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces (1 stick); more for the pan
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brewed espresso or double-strength coffee, cooled to room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon sifted, finely ground espresso beans (from about 1 heaping tablespoon whole beans)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour; more for the pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with kitchen parchment. Butter the parchment and lightly flour the pan, shaking out the excess.

In a small, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, melt both chocolates and the butter, stirring frequently. Set aside. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer if you have one, or an electric mixer, whip the eggs, sugar, brewed espresso, ground espresso beans and salt on medium-high speed until thick and voluminous, at least 8 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and mix in the butter-chocolate mixture. Turn off the mixer. Sift the flour over the batter and fold until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Set a plate over the torte and carefully invert onto the plate; peel off the parchment. Flip the torte back onto the rack to cool completely before slicing. Serve with a little whipped cream or a scoop of coffee ice cream, if you like.

— Adapted from Fine Cooking magazine, April/May, 1999

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