Gluten-Free Chocolate Torte

Flourless Chocolate Torte 3I’ve made no secret of my inability to bake. I have burned sheet after sheet of misshapen cookies and pulled countless cakes from the oven that failed to rise. A few years ago, after yet another bundt cake that had somehow been Super Glued to the pan, I threw both pan and cake into the trash — a very liberating experience.

Then there was the Fall that I was going to teach myself to bake my favorite cake, the Black Forest Cake. Yum, right? The first attempt quite literally made me sick. I couldn’t get that thing to the trash quick enough. The next week brought another attempt. That “cake” was better — it wasn’t life-threatening — but was certainly nothing to be proud of. The third cake proved I was on the right track, though it was in no way good enough to share with anyone. I hit pay-dirt with my 4th and, what would prove to be, my last attempt. That cake was a delight. Good thing, too, because that was 6 years ago and it was the last Black Forest Cake that I’ve tasted. Oh, I’ve been tempted to have a piece but, when I am, there’s a rumble down under that convinces me that now is not the time.

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Perhaps it was my success with this torte that gave me the mistaken opinion that I could bake, leading me to the Black Forest Cake debacle. I first saw Jamie Oliver prepare the torte when he was known as The Naked Chef, so, this recipe has been around for some time. I’ve made it a number of times since without any problems whatsoever — not counting a misguided attempt to make it as a bundt cake with that accursed pan. Never mind that. Believe me. If I can bake this torte anyone can.

Now, a word about the recipe before proceeding. If you go searching for it on the web, you’ll find it titled a number of ways. Jamie Oliver’s: “Chocolate Torte”; “Flour-less Chocolate Torte”; and, “Two Nut Chocolate Torte”, are the most popular. Bear in mind that this recipe was demonstrated in an episode that aired in 2000, some time before most of us were aware of gluten-related issues. In fact, I’ve even see the recipe called “Flour-less” yet you’re instructed to grease and flour the pan before filling it with cake batter. Not to worry. This torte is gluten-free, hence the name change, and I coat the pan with powdered cocoa, not flour.

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Chocolate Torte X

As Jamie intended

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Torte Recipe

Ingredients

  • 5 1/2 oz (155 g) shelled and peeled almonds
  • 5 1/2 oz (155 g) shelled walnuts, finely ground
  • 11 oz (310 g) semi-sweet chocolate (separated – 2/3 & 1/3)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 9 oz (255 g) butter
  • 3 1/2 oz (100 g) sugar
  • 6 large free-range eggs, separated
  • butter
  • cocoa powder
  • salt
  • powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375˚ F (190˚ C). Use butter to grease the bottom of an 8 to 10 inch spring-form pan before lining the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. Butter the paper and sides of the pan. Use cocoa powder to coat the greased pan.
  2. Place the almonds into a food processor and grind them until finely ground.
  3. Add the walnuts and continue processing until all are finely ground. (See Notes)
  4. Add a pinch of salt and 2/3 of the chocolate and process for 30 seconds. Remove the nut-chocolate mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add the butter and sugar to the food processor and run until the mixture is a pale yellow and fluffy.
  6. Add the egg yolks, one by one, and process until well-blended.
  7. Add the egg mixture to the bowl with the chocolate mixture and stir until well-combined.
  8. Add the egg whites to a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt.  Using a whisk, hand mixer, or stand mixer, beat the eggs until stiff peaks form. (See Notes)
  9. Take 1/3 of the beaten egg whites and fold them into the bowl with the eggs and chocolate. Once blended, add the remaining 2/3 of the egg whites and fold into the batter. Do not over mix. (See Notes)
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  11. Place the remaining chocolate chunks into the top of the torte’s batter. Press them slightly into the batter, though no need to cover them with batter.
  12. Bake on the center rack of a pre-heated oven for about an hour. After 55 minutes, use a knife to check to see if the torte is finished. Place the knife into the center, wait a few seconds, and remove. The blade should be relatively clean.
  13. Once cooled, remove from pan, invert to remove the paper, and place on a cake platter. Dust with powdered sugar.
  14. Serve as-is or with a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche.

This is a recipe from Jamie Oliver, The Naked Chef

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Oven Ready

Ready for the oven

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Notes

Be sure to keep an eye on your nuts when using the food processor or you may end up with almond-walnut butter.

To remove the almond skins: Add raw, shelled almonds to a small sauce pan filled with boiling water. Remove from the water after 3 minutes, placing the blanched nuts into an ice water bath. Strain and wipe dry. Squeeze each almond between your thumb and index finger to easily remove the skin.

This is how I beat egg whites:

  • Bring eggs to room temperature before separating. Be sure no yolk remains in the whites.
  • Place the whites in a mixing bowl. Whether whisking by hand or using a mixer, begin slowly at first. After about 30 seconds, continue beating at medium speed.
  • Once the eggs begin to color, beat at a higher rate until beaten to the recipe’s needs.

The beaten egg whites provide lift for this torte. If they aren’t folded into the batter correctly, the torte will not rise. Here’s a quick video demonstrating the proper technique for folding egg whites into batter.

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For the chocoholics among us

Make a simple ganache.

  1. Place 8 oz (225 g) of chocolate pieces in a heat-resistant bowl – use whatever type of chocolate you prefer
  2. Heat 10 oz (300 ml) of heavy cream to the point of boiling.
  3. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and let sit for a couple of minutes before stirring until smooth. As it cools, the ganache will thicken.
  4. If you prefer your ganache to be flavored, once the ganache is fully mixed, add 2 or more tbsp of:
      * Framboise for raspberry flavoring;
      * Grand Marnier or Cointreau for orange;
      * Amaretto for almond; or
      * Kahlúa for coffee.
  5. Either pour the ganache over the entire cake or each piece as it is served.

I usually make half the amount listed here and store the remainder in a sealed container in the fridge. I’ve no idea how long it will last because kitchen elves snack on it until it’s gone, usually within 48 hours — within 72 hours when Girl Scout cookies are atop the counter.

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Chocolate Chocolate Torte

As John wanted

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It’s déjà vu all over again …

Carnivale ends today in Italy, as it does round the World. In the days leading up to Ash fiocchetti1Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, celebrations of all kinds take place, each with its own particular sweets and confections. In New Orleans, it’s King Cake. In Chicago, it’s fried donuts called Paczkis. In the Bartolini kitchens, it was fiocchetti, which we called angel wings. These fried dough crisps, in one form or another, are made throughout Italy this time of year and go by a number of names. You can learn how to make them just by clicking HERE.

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Pork Tenderloin - Plums 1

Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce

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181 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Chocolate Torte

  1. The chocolate torte looks fabulous and I bet it was delicious! I much prefer Jamie Oliver’s food when he was The Naked Chef – and so entertaining on TV. I’m glad you persisted in baking as the results are worth it.

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    • Thank you for the encouragement. That Naked Chef series was a good one, with simple, easy to prepare recipes resulting in some fantastic dishes. I don’t see much of him anymore, unfortunately.

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  2. I have to confess to laughing out loud when I read, “yet another bundt cake that had somehow been Super Glued to the pan”. Thank you John for always brightening my day.
    I am super impressed with your results and it looks very professional, almost better than what Jamie Oliver could do. Clearly your practice was worth the effort.
    Now onto more serious matters – I think to balance all the gluten I will be consuming before race day, we shall have to balance it with this.
    Have a lovely day John.
    🙂 Mandy xo

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    • Thanks, Mandy. I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed the post. I’ll be sure to present you with balanced meals, not to worry. I would advise that you bring snowshoes when you do come. It’s snowing again and, at the rate we’re going, I cannot guarantee that Summer will get here, let alone Spring. I bet you’ll be the only marathoner wearing snowshoes. Just think of the advantage!

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  3. YAY! We like gluten free over here 😀 Thanks for this recipe. I love baking, but gluten free cakes are … mavericks, to say the least. You never know how they turn out.
    I will take your word for the result, and try it myself. I’m sure the kids will love it. 😀

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  4. For a non baker John you have done a fine job! I have a few gluten free choc nut cakes on my blog. They are all fairly similar but equally delicious. Thanks for another recipe to try! I line by cake tin with baking paper which eliminates the need for coating it in flour. It also avoids the greasy clumped up powder on the surface of the cake too. My advice with baking anything is ignore recommended baking times. Set a timer about 2/3 of the time the recipe says, check the oven, then continue to do so in 5 minute increments until you are satisfied.

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    • Thank you so much for your kind words and the tips. I can use all the help I can get. I’d no idea that using a paper lining would eliminate the dusting of the pan, and, checking earlier than indicated may have saved a few of my misfires in the past — not the Black Forest cakes, though. Only Divine Intervention would have been capable of helping those 1st 3 attempts.

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  5. Pingback: Gluten-Free Chocolate Torte | Recipe Flash | Your all in one Recipe and Cooking News website

  6. I’ve looked at that recipe in The Naked Chef many times John, and have often wondered what it would be like. Absolutely going to give it a go now (we have 3 coeliacs in our extended family, and I know they must be tiring of the usual chocolate cake I trot out). That glistening ganache looks divine.

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    • This is a heavier cake than one that’s flour-based. It is chocolate-y, especially if you serve it with the ganache. Jamie suggests crumbling the cake when it’s stale and serving it atop ice cream. I’ve served it to friends and family and they all like it. I hope your family will say the same. Good luck!

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      • John, I made it yesterday for my mum’s birthday! Holy moly, soooo good with the crackly top and chunks of chocolate. A definite keeper, and easy too – my 9-year old very ably assisted me. Not sure if you’re on Facebook, but I posted a pic of it this morning on my blog’s Facebook page.

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        • That’s great, Saskia! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it. That Naked Chef shared some great recipes and this was one of his best. Thanks for coming back to tell me.

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  7. The result looks amazing….despite your self professed inability to bake P.s the part about you throwing away the cake and the pan was very brave. My youngest sister recently did that after she tried to bake cupcakes for her class and they….rose and rose and rose. Till all the corners and surfaces of the cupcake mold were covered in thick cake layers. In fact the pan looked like one large baked cake!(I jokingly told her to have a bite …instead she threw the pan in the bin and stomped away ;P )

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  8. Sheila the Sassy Pig says she would like you to bake once a week and she will eat ALL your failures, including the baking tin. For her all failures are really successes in disguise. This cake looks wonderful. Sadly i cannot eat almonds, a nut thing that has crept up on me as i got older.. how miserable, but I have been experimenting with alternatives so i bet I could use some other nut? Yours sure looks perfect. The sun is rising here to another day of potential snow but nothing so far so fingers crossed. Have a wonderful day.. c

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    • Hey, Celi! Still snowing here. This is the Land that Spring Forgot …
      I bet you could substitute roasted pecans for the almonds. If that doesn’t capture your fancy, there are plenty of nut-based, flour-less tortes/cakes on the web. I’m sure you’ll find one that works for you. 😉

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  9. OH HOW YOU TEMP ME! I’ve given up sweets for Lent so I will have to save your yummy looking recipe for afterwards.I so love anything chocolate.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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    • Oh my! I didn’t even consider that Lent was starting when I scheduled this post, Francine. So sorry. Well, look at it this way. You now have 40 days to get the best possible ingredients, so, that you will prepare and serve a wonderful chocolate torte on Easter Sunday. 🙂

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    • Not that I’m an expert by any stretch of the imagination but this is the only recipe I’ve seen that uses two nuts. It’s a popular recipe, too. You’ll find it all over the net. Do make a ganache, though, Maureen. Oh, baby! 🙂

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  10. This post certainly made me laugh at your initial cake follies John, it’s too bad your first experiences put you off so much. Again, the internet is a valuable too to find correct methods, the success in baking is definitely one that entirely depends on methods and precise measures.
    This cake is gorgeous and I’m sure tastes wonderful too; nuts and chocolate have such an amazing flavour together. I’m so happy for you that you’ve found one recipe for cake that works and how serendipitous that it’s chocolate❤️! I hadn’t thought of bundt cake in a very long time, I have a pan in my basement pantry! My dear mom used to make one that was vanilla with a dense chocolate centre. In the 70s I made one that had Sweet Marie or Oh Henry bars in the centre (now those were heathy!)
    Funny how those kitchen elves get around; they were just here last weekend devouring some home made blue cheese dip left over from the Oscar dinner!

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    • Hello, Eva I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post. I’m a poor baker probably for many of the same reasons I wasn’t a great chemistry student: too much precision required. I have a couple baked recipes that I rely upon and that’s good enough for me. This torte is one of the few. Both friends and family like it and that ganache wins over even the most finicky of eaters. That bundt cake of yours many not have been the most healthy dessert but it sure sounds delicious. What a great surprise finding chunks of Oh Henry bars in a cake! And what are we going to do about these elves? I lose more chocolate to them. 😉

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  11. Buona sera John, thanks for the stress buster and laughter today. I am glad I am not the only one that does not like to bake. You actually have to measure and all that crazy stuff. Measure? Really, I think there are the savory cooks and the sweet cooks and it looks like you nailed both today. Your chocolate ganache takes Jamie’s plain cake over the top. PS your video link does not seem to be working. Have a super day. Take Care, BAM

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    • Buongiorno, BAM! My baking projects — yes, projects — all start with the best of intentions and, every time, I’m sure that this cake, pie, muffin, whatever, will be the start of a glorious baking career. Then, somewhere along the line, something goes wrong and and I’m pulling a monstrosity out of the oven. Off to the garbage it goes, I clean the kitchen, and pretend I spent the afternoon watching an Arts film. You can imagine my delight having a recipe like this one that I can bake again and again without any problems. It’s a miracle!
      Have a great week, BAM!
      I’ve tested all the links and they’re working fine. I’ll test them a few more times, throughout the day to make sure. Thanks for the heads-up. 🙂

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  12. I remember that liberating experience as if it were yesterday, pan and cake ending up in the damp. I sympathized with the pan…not the cake. I would go for the Two Nut Chocolate Torte just because I love nuts but the “gluten free chocolate torte’ says it all. Thank you John for the clear instructions, metric measurements and the end result is perfect. I would love to gobble that for my dessert tonight. Bookmarking this one for a rainy day. Thanks and have a pleasant week!

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    • Thank, Liz, for your kind words and understanding. 🙂 I’ve just bought a new bundt pan — it’s been years since I threw that other one away — and now I’m working up the courage to use it. Given my track record, I’m in no hurry.
      I do hope you try an denjoy this cake as much as we all do. Have a great week, too, Liz.

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  13. There you go again calling me back to meat with that enticing picture of pork and plum sauce! 😉 Congratulations on a successful torte! I too have much the same experience with cakes. Still, I will keep trying. The kids would revolt if I didn’t. 😉 Off to shovel now…it has to come to an end at some point doesn’t it!

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    • If I could, I’d love to have a flute play in the background of every meat photo I post, just for you, Kristy. Too bad the Pied Piper never put out an album. 🙂
      This is a heavy, dense torte, as most nut-based cakes are. Add the chocolate and it is really tasty. adding the ganache puts it way over the top.

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  14. Dusting the pan with cocoa instead of flour — brilliant! I love everything about this cake … and chocolate ganache? Well that is worth doubling so there is plenty for the kitchen elves. 😉 Can’t wait to try this one, John. YUM!

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  15. Well for someone who professes not to be a baker, your torte looks picture perfect, John, without and with the ganache glaze. 🙂 I don’t bake a lot, and don’t own a springform pan, though I’ve been on the lookout for a deal on one. Now I must get one so I can try this torte. Seriously, it would be fantastic to serve for dessert at a dinner party…the only way I could ensure not eating the whole thing myself. 😉

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    • One cake doth not a baker make, Betsy. This one torte rests upon the crumbs of many a burnt cake, cookie, bread, and muffin. I’ve another baking recipe to share, one of Mom’s, but I’ve not tried to make it yet, fearing another disaster in the kitchen. As for this torte, given that so many have gluten issues these days, this is one dessert you can serve without fear of upsetting your guests — unless they have nut issues. If that’s the case, I’d be a little more careful with your next dinner’s guest list. 🙂

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      • I’ve seen more than one tasty cake here, and some fabulous looking loaves of bread, John. 🙂 But, I hear you about your failures and understand…baking isn’t my first love either…mainly because I have a wonky oven, so I’ve had more than a few failures, too. 😉

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  16. This looks SO amazing, John. Pure chocolate goodness. I love the chocolate chunks strewn throughout the batter. I must ask – what is your favorite GS Cookie? I could see some chocolate thin mints, chopped, and added to your delicious cake… as crazy as that sounds! 🙂

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    • Hey, Shana. Yes, this is chocolate-y goodness. I’ve never gotten a complaint when it’s been served. My fave GS cookie is the Tagalong. I just love peanut butter and chocolate combined. Your idea of using mint cookies in the batter is fantastic!!! I wish I had thought of that. I’m going to buy more cookies on Friday. You can bet there will be a box of thin mints in my bag. Thank you for mentioning it, Shanna. This is going to be good! 🙂

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  17. Perfect timing.  I’m bringing the dessert to a dinner Sunday.  I had 2 recipes like this, but have never made them.  I like nuts and the other recipes didn’t incorporate them, and I was hesitant to add w/o knowing the outcome.  FYI One of my recipes has the cake sitting in a water bath as it is baking in the oven. That seemed a bit much. Donna 

    >________________________________ > From: from the Bartolini kitchens >To: grimleafer@yahoo.com >Sent: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 4:06 AM >Subject: [New post] Gluten-Free Chocolate Torte > > > > WordPress.com >ChgoJohn posted: “I’ve made no secret of my inability to bake. I have burned sheet after sheet of misshapen cookies and pulled countless cakes from the oven that failed to rise. A few years ago, after yet another bundt cake that had somehow been Super Glued to the pan, I t” >

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    • Hey, Donna! This cake is a good one and being gluten-free is a definite plus. Do make the ganache. It really does put this over the top. I did try to bake it in a water batch some time ago. It prolonged the cooking time and didn’t do anything for the cake. You’re right, it is a bit much. 🙂

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  18. I remember when flourless tortes and cakes became all the rage back in the 70s and 80s! They were almost a mystery food back then — how could you bake without flour? Quite easily, it turns out. This looks terrific. I love the combo of the almonds and the walnuts (we use almond flour all the time for its flavor, not because we’re gluten-sensitive). This looks like the perfect signature baked dish. When you do something this good, it’s all you need to learn to make — people will always want it. This is a winner, in more ways than one. 😉

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    • Thanks, John, for the encouragement. You’re right. I’ve a few baked recipes that I draw upon again and again. I just do not have the confidence to expand my repertoire, giving my somewhat checkered track record. I did buy another bundt cake pan recently. Now I need to get up the nerve to use it. 🙂

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  19. This looks like chocolate nirvana. Yum yum yum! I too love ganache on top, the more chocolate the better. These days with people on so many diets it is definitely good to have a go to gluten free dessert recipe and this looks fabulous. Holiday tip…this looks and tastes great with peppermint schnapps in the ganache and crushed candy canes on top.

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  20. Mm-mm. This looks splendid. Ground almonds are so brilliant to bake with. I use them to make brownies instead of using flour. Makes them very squidgy. Also in fruit cakes to halve the amount of flour required.

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  21. io sono una grande golosa!! e amo molto la torta al cioccolato, la tua ricetta è simile alla mia, ma non quella della farcitura, proverò a farla, grazie!
    anche l’arrosto di maiale con le prugne è uno dei miei preferiti, io faccio un buco al centro del rotolo e inserisco le prugne che prima ho fatto macerare nel marsala o nel vin santo…
    mi piace molto come cucini, si sente che le tue ricette profumano all’italiana!
    Notte felice amico!

    I am a big tasty!! and I love the chocolate cake, your recipe is similar to mine, but not that of the filling, I’ll try it, thanks!
    the roast pork with prunes is one of my favorites, I make a hole in the middle of the roll and insert the plums that before I did marinate in marsala or vin santo …
    I really like how to Cook, you feel that your recipes Italian smelling!
    Happy friend night!

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    • Thank you so much, Ventis. Zia will be pleased to read what you’ve written. She and Mom taught me well. Your roast pork with plums sounds delicious! Have you posted the recipe? I would love to try it this Summer, when plums are in season.
      Grazie mille e buona notte!

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      • Ciao amico, ti invio con vero piacere la ricetta, che è una mia creazione, non sono una cuoca ma amo cucinare e sperimentare, questo arrosto risulta delicato e insieme saporito, se nella traduzione tu non avessi capito qualcosa, fammelo sapere che cercherò di spiegarlo meglio
        ARISTA CON LE PRUGNE

        INGREDIENTI

        1 kg arista di maiale

        1,30 hg pancetta arrotolata

        250 gr prugne secche senza nocciolo

        40 gr burro

        1 bicchiere di latte

        2 bicchieri di marsala ( o di vin santo )

        sale e pepe quanto basta

        -spago per arrosti

        1- Mettere in bagno le prugne almeno per 30 minuti in un bicchiere di marsala, o quanto ne occorre per ricoprirle

        2-Salare e pepare l’arista di maiale che avrete in precedenza traforato al centro, da parte a parte con un coltello.

        3-Inserire dentro il foro le prugne- quante ne entrano-

        4- arrotolare la pancetta intorno all’arrosto e legare strettamente con lo spago.

        5-Far rosolare ben bene nel burro da ogni lato

        6- aggiungere il bicchiere di latte, coprire la teglia e lasciare cuocere per 20 minuti.

        7-Aggiungere le prugne con il liquido del marsala e lasciare cuocere per altri 20 minuti, sempre con la teglia coperta.

        8-A cottura ultimata tagliare l’arrosto a fette non troppo spesse e deporre sul piatto di portata, aggiungere le prugne col sughetto che avranno formato, e guarnire.

        Io di solito lo accompagno con puré di patate nella stagione invernale o con insalata in quella estiva.

        Ti assicuro che sarà un vero successo, i miei ospiti e familiari ne vanno matti!

        Le la cucini fammi sapere se è piaciuta anche a te

        🙂

        Hello friend, you enter with pleasure the recipe, which is my creation, I’m not a cook but I love to cook and experiment, this is delicate and roast with flavorful, if the translation you have not understood something, just let me know I will try to explain it better
        PORK WITH PRUNES

        INGREDIENTS

        1 kg pork arista

        1.30 hg rolled Bacon

        250 g dried plums without stones

        40 g butter

        1 glass of milk

        2 glasses of marsala (or vin santo)

        salt and pepper to taste

        -Twine for roast

        1-Put in the bathroom at least plums for 30 minutes in a glass of marsala, or how much it takes to pour

        2-salt and pepper the pork arista you have pierced to the Center, from one side to the other with a knife.

        3-Insert in the hole-plums

        4-roll the bacon around the roast and tie tightly with string.

        5-saute in butter well on each side

        6-Add the glass of milk, cover the Pan and leave to cook for 20 minutes.

        7-Add the plums with the liquid of marsala wine and allow it to cook for another 20 minutes, always with the pan covered.

        8-when cooked cut the roast into slices not too thick and place on serving dish, add the plums with the sauce that will have formed, and garnish.

        I usually accompany with mashed potatoes in the winter or the summer salad.

        I assure you it will be a real success, my guests and family go crazy!

        The Cook let me know if you liked

        🙂

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  22. Ah, Jamie Oliver, the so disappointingly NON-naked chef 😉 … *sigh*. But he sure knows how to do a good recipe so I suppose we can forgive him for mis-marketing.
    I’ve flung my fair share of loaf tins/cake pans across the kitchen floor, sometimes with baked goods still within but never been so bold as to throw them away. I think I would regret that pretty swiftly and the joke would be on me as I rummaged through vegetable peelings and biscuit wrappers to redeem the mistreated vessel.
    I’m so glad you persevered with your baking adventures – it certainly looks to have paid off as I doubt just “anyone” could make a cake look this good. And ganache … oh dear. I’m going weak at the knees 🙂

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    • Thank you! I meant what I wrote. If I can bake this cake, anyone can. I remember the first I heard of The Naked Chef. He was being introduced on a morning show here and the host was quick to explain that Jamie really wasn’t naked on the show. As foolish as it was, I’m certain that some of the viewers would have thought that Jamie cooked in the nude had the host not explained. The switchboards would have lit up!
      That pan was destined for the trash heap. I used it a number of times and never once did the cake release. Just recently I bought another but I haven’t worked up the nerve to use it yet. Don’t worry. It’s not in any danger of being tossed. Quite a few bundts will have to die first. 🙂

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  23. I love the look of this torte John and will certainly give it a try… just as soon as the chocolate cake I made yesterday is devoured! Such a great idea adding in the chunks of chocolate before baking – delicious!

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    • Thanks, Margot. It is a great cake, dense and chocolate-y, just how I like ’em. You, though, with back-to-back chocolate cakes? Wow! Can I come live with you? 🙂

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  24. I don’t care about the gluten-free aspect all that seriously, but I do have friends that must, and so it’s great to have a recipe I can share. But I am a chocoholic, and this torte looks fantastic, and yes to the ganache! I love to bake, and this is a wonderful recipe, John. I can’t wait to make it, and I will!

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    • I’m so glad you liked today’s post, Debra. Though I’m fine, there are now 2 in my family with gluten-related issues and a 3rd who has opted to cut back on gluten. This torte will please everyone and do make the ganache. It’s a chocoholic’s dream! 🙂

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  25. You’re such a good cook that I don’t know why baking is your nemesis. This chocolate cake looks amazing and I will definitely make this. I love how it’s GF and how it is so dense and moist looking xx

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    • You’re too kind, Charlie. Thank you. I’ve never baked enough to get comfortable with it. I see your baked goods and am so impressed. I have a few things that I bake and do them again and again. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this cake, and only had 2, maybe 3, misfires. For me, that’s a fantastic record. 🙂

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  26. It’s obvious to me that the problem was with the cake pans, not you John. This torte looks exceptional & I’m going to have to make this for my gluten sensitive niece for her next visit. I always feel terrible having things that someone can’t eat when they visit & really try to keep dietary restrictions in mind.
    Excellent tips there on using the cocoa to dust the pan & bringing the eggs to room temperature. Of course keeping an eye on one’s nuts is always a good idea.
    Impatiently waiting for that pork tenderloin with plum sauce – that looks like a winner for sure!

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    • Thanks, Diane. I really do wish someone, somewhere would look into what is happening that’s causing these dietary problems. Granted, improved diagnostics is part of the reason but that’s not the only reason. I’ve another Cousin that was recently told to go GF. What is going on? On the other hand, this torte will make you wonder why you ever ate gluten in the first place. 🙂
      That pork roast is coming. Stay tuned …

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    • Diane, when I read your comment above – ‘Of course keeping an eye on one’s nuts is always a good idea.’ – it made me smile!! ; o ) (That’s just the way my mind works…)
      I hope all is well with your and your family!

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  27. Laughter and chocolate… two of the finest things in life 😀
    I’m not much of a baker, and have had plenty of hits and misses when I do. But when it does work out, there’s nothing better than homemade cake. Which is why I don’t cultivate my baking skills too much, I’d eat the benefits. I love nutty, dense cakes… your ganache looks fabulous but I know I’d want a dollop of cream with it.

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    • Thanks, EllaDee. It sounds like we two are in the same boat. if I bake something, I eat that something. Baking, like everything else, takes practice — and a goodly amount of will power. Sadly, I lack the latter. Jamie suggests serving the dish with a dollop of crème fraîche and, honestly, I had intended to serve it that way for the photos. I forgot all about it until after I was just about ready to publish the post and I didn’t feel like setting up another “photo shoot.” I did serve it to myself, though, and it was every bit as good as you thought. 🙂

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  28. Ah John I remember you telling me about your Bundt cake tin adventures! And I think I remember this cake too – in fact I have the book, somewhere…. so your recipe minus the adventures is a timely reminder to make a few dishes from the Naked Chef.

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    • Yes, Claire, I did mention that bundt pan before. I do have another one now. I bought it recently but haven’t worked up the nerve to use it yet. All in due time. I’ve only made a few recipe from Jamie but each has been very good and not at all complicated to prepare. I really should get one of his books. Does he have one
      featuring bundt cakes? 🙂

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    • Thank you so much, Conor. If I can bake this cake — and do so repeatedly — I am more than sure you can bake one. Besides, make the ganache. People will forgive any cake mishap if it’s coated in ganache. 🙂

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  29. I have to commend you, John, for not giving up the baking! I will say that bundt cakes are not so easy for a starter baker, and it’s the pan that makes life difficult! Along with issues with raising agents.
    However, this torte is excellent! Well done! Looks very rich and decadent even without the ganache but who wouldn’t want ganache? Just keep practising John, you are there!

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    • Thanks, Nazneen, for both the complements and encouragement. My biggest problem with baking is a lack of experience. I need more tasters so that I can bake and ship off the stuff. As it is now, I eat what I bake and that’s not good. 🙂
      I recently bought a new bundt pan and I’ll give it another try, once I get the courage. Don’t worry. I will take many failures before this pan sees the trash bin. 🙂

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  30. I remember when he went by the Naked Chef, he’s all grown up now. I used to love his show in his apartment and his “mates” would stop in and he’d cook them all an amazing dinner. But now.. I love his set these days even more. I think it’s filmed in a kitchen studio in his backyard, if I’m not mistaken? Just imagine having that and a full garden!! I love me a yummy cake.. and this torte would be perfect with the ganache poured right over top! I hope you keep baking, I think you’ve got the “knack” now! xx

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    • I really did enjoy the Naked Chef show, too, and that garden was too much! His recipes were easy to prepare and with good result. I lost track of him until he was here in the States trying to improve the nutrition in our schools. I doubt he was prepared for the walls that the bureaucracy had put up in his way. I wish you were right about me having the “knack”, Barb. The truth is that I make this cake regularly because I know it will come out fine. Give me a new recipe and it could take weeks before I feel right giving someone a piece. I know. It’s tragic. 🙂

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  31. My god daughter has recently been diagnosed as gluten intolerant and needs to put on weight – this will be a perfect treat for me to make for her! And now I forsee you turning into a master cake baker – a bit like when you “didn’t” can and then became the King of Canning 🙂

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    • Sorry to hear of your god daughter’s issues with gluten. I’ve another Cousin that was just told to eliminate gluten. I wish they could find out what’s going on.
      I wish I had you confidence in my baking abilities, Tanya. When I can something, I put it on a shelf and give it away when I see people. If I bake, I have to make a delivery that same day. That rarely happens so I end up eating the cake or pie or whatever. This is not a good thing. I need to find some tasters that live within walking distance. 🙂

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  32. So glad you had a success with this one, John. It looks absolutely perfect, and so delicious. Thanks for the recipe. Those fiocchetti, don’t look too bad either. I could happily down a couple with my afternoon tea. 🙂

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  33. John that cake looks and sounds so good I got off my chair to look at The Naked Chef, alas, I am in Perth and it looks live my copy is in Bridgetown. I love it when we rediscover gems. I am definitely making that one.

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    • Thanks, Glenda. It is a good cake and both friends and family love it. They’d better. It’s really the only cake I make. 🙂
      If you’re interested, at the end of the recipe is a link that will show you a video clip of Jaime, as The Naked Chef, preparing this cake.

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    • Thanks and that was some cake you prepared! Aren’t Jamie’s recipes great? I’ve not prepared many but those that I have are always top notch. I’ll have to give yours a try. It would be nice to be able to bake two cakes instead of this one. 🙂

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  34. You are a life-saver. My husband’s birthday is next month and, in consideration of the guest list, I was trying to think of a gluten-free cake without having to research it to death. (I don’t usually need to make gluten-free desserts.) But now that I see this marvelous recipe – and chocolate, besides! – I am very excited. The best part is, I will follow your advice and make this & the ganache a few times before his birthday just to, you know, make sure I get the hang of it.

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    • It’s a shame we’re not neighbors. We could send cakes back and forth between houses as we test recipes. Someone in an earlier comment suggested testing the cake before the suggested time to allow for differences in ovens. That’s not a bad idea and one that I’ll follow in the future. I hope you enjoy this cake as much as those to whom I’ve served it. And remember, if the “party” cake isn’t quite right, serve extra ganache. It hides a multitude of sins. Good luck! 🙂

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  35. The first two paragraphs made me laugh out loud. I think my stress level went down just from laughing. 🙂 On the other hand, it’s great that you braved it and tried again and had an amazing result. The torte looks divine, especially you slathered it with chocolate ganache. Yummy! Great job, John. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Anna. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and recipe. I can laugh at my baking foibles and mistakes now. It’s an entirely different matter when I’m pulling one of them out of the oven “Again?” is my usual comment — along with a couple expletives. 🙂

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  36. I’ve never found a chocolate treat that I didn’t like. I do fine with gluten but I love this cake for all of the nuts and the fact that the chocolate pieces melt into the cake while it’s baking. That just sounds like it would yield an awesome result! Great recipe John. Thanks for sharing!

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    • Thanks, MJ, and I feel the same way about chocolate. Once I made the cake and used chocolate chips instead of chunks. Big mistake. Chips just can’t “bring it” like chunks can and do. That’s why I included a photo of the chunks in the cake batter so that no one would make the same mistake that I did.

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  37. Doesn’t this look yummy indeed, and the walnuts would add a real richness. Even better for me, it’s gluten free!

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  38. You know what I say, there is actually always someone around who would be more than happy to share with you the cake that you would not dare to share with anyone 🙂 And then the texture of this one is mesmerizing!

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  39. As always John – I enjoyed reading your post so much – – it’s as if you’d dropped by for a quick cup of coffee! And the torte looks delicious! I know you’ve mentioned you’re not such a good baker but I think it was the fault of that stupid pan (at least on some occasions). I might have told you once before about the first time I attempted to bake a loaf of bread… It was so heavy that, after my husband & I each ate a piece, we didn’t feel like eating dinner! Just like you – I didn’t give up though – and I’m actually a pretty darn good bread baker. P.S. Check out my recent post for ‘One, Two, Three Fruit Crisp’. As they say in Britain – It’s dead easy. Even a guy who hasn’t always been so lucky in the Baking Department is guaranteed to end up with a delicious dessert!! ; o )

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    • Thanks, Cecile, for the encouragement. I do bake bread. In fact, I’ve been baking a couple small loaves of sourdough at least once a week for a few months. There are a couple other things that I bake but nothing fancy schmancy. I can never be sure of the outcome. Those few things that I do bake i bake again and again and again. I’ll stick with pasta, thank you. Now that I can make and have no problem eating. 🙂
      Now I’m off to see the Crisp of yours.

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  40. So true John, it’s funny when gluten-free recipes have instructions for flouring the pan! Haha. I guess you can get gluten-free flour these days but it still seems a tad strange. This torte looks divine. Love the chunks of chocolate and that glossy chocolate ganache (you can tell I’m a chocaholic, can’t you?!). Great post as always!

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    • Thank you, Laura. This recipe is an old one and I think those versions are from that era. We didn’t worry about gluten then and a little flour on a cake pan couldn’t hurt, now could it? 🙂
      I tried using chocolate chips in place of the chunks and it just didn’t work. You need those chunks, believe me.

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  41. This torte is a big reminder for me of how grateful I am to have nut flours in my life. Making the switch to baking gluten free was made so much easier, more flavourful and nutritious with the help of ground almonds, and being able to readily buy them freshly ground is a huge bonus. I may be a lifelong baker, but I always, always welcome a shortcut! The chocolate chunks are such a great touch in this recipe, and the end result looks like perfection. I hope you fully enjoyed your success, John – well earned!

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    • Thank you so much! I’ve so little baking experience that it never occurred to me to seek out almond flour, though I’d need to convert nuts to flour for the recipe. I do enjoy a thick, dense chocolate cake and the nut flour definitely delivers that. As for the chocolate chunks, I tried using chips once and it was a big mistake. I’d rather go without than use those chips again.

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  42. Your photos are wonderful, CJ, particularly the one with the slice of cake drenched in ganache. This is a beauty, and will be Pinned and featured on my Facebook page.

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  43. Oh John, I have to love you!!! I am a totally miserable baker, and have thrown many a cake in the trash, burned the pan, and thrown out both. In fact, one recent experiment of mine involved baking bricks that my kids could play baseball with and they even offered to demonstrate. I have gone long periods of time when I did not own any baking pan simply because it was such a useless function to me. And to know that I am in such esteemed company just about makes me euphoric, AND run to the kitchen to try this torte out. I have never,ever, been so inspired in my life to bake.

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    • Sister!I know your pain! My baked goods start with the best of intentions, only to “walk the plank” to the trash bin. Recently, I attempted a simple quick bread. You know the kind that just about everyone bakes and blogs about. In a moment of self-fulfilling prophecy, I grabbed cornstarch instead of baking powder and yet another baked good went into the can. Believe me, though, this torte is doable, Minnie. You can do it and everyone will think you a star. Good luck!

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  44. This cake looks super delicious! I hate making cakes with whipped egg whites though, it usually takes me two and sometimes even three tries (and lots of lost egg whites) to get them whipped up just right, although that being said most of my favorite cake recipes call for them. If you can handle this tricky element of cake baking then the rest should come easily to you with a little practice. 😉

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    • Thanks, Laura, and you are right. Folding the eggs is the one and only tricky part of this recipe. Get past that part, though, and you’ll be well rewarded, This torte is very good. You’re right, too, about needing practice. I just don’t bake enough to feel confident with it. I’ll stick with pasta. 🙂

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  45. Yay and congratulations in overcoming your fear of cake. i had no doubts about you at all. It looks so very scrumptious. Looking forward to you next cake

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    • Thanks for the vot of confidence. This is just about the only cake I bake, other than a cheesecake. I’m just not comfortable baking. I don’t have the experience. It’s a Catch-22. 🙂

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  46. That cake? Oh, hello! What can I say, it’s a work of art! I used to watch the Naked Chef avidly; it was such a breath of fresh air and I loved it. In fact, I have the cookbook. (PS, I think you can call yourself a baker on the strength of this cake 😊)

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  47. We made this last weekend, and it was FA-BU-LOUS!! (Well, I enlisted my sister to make it, but still…) We added a bit of pineapple sauce (drizzle? glaze?) over the top – my sister’s creativity at work – with plenty o’ whipped cream. It was a slice of heaven.

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    • Jamie Oliver really got this one right, didn’t he? People have loved it every time I’ve made it. Your sister’s pineapple sauce/glaze/drizzle sounds perfect! I must give it a try.

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  48. Methinks this is due for a tryout in my own kitchen! Soon, I hope. Maybe glazed with some bourbon-black cherry coulis? Sliced chocolate-covered strawberries on top? A layer of Amaretto whipped cream in the middle? All of the above????? I’ll let you know…might need to lie down for a minute here first, after just thinking about such things a little too intensively. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your ideas have me drooling, Kathryn. This cake is my go-to dessert when I’ve GF friends for dinner but that back cherry coulis is calling my name — or is that the Bourbon, I guess I’ll just have to bake a cake and find out. With any luck, my GF friends will be busy that night. 🙂

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