Large Flourless Chocolate Almond Torte

Makes 16-18 servings.

If you are expecting a large crowd this dessert is delicious cake to serve. It is light and not too sweet, and I like to serve it with berries and chocolate sorbet.  The cake freezes very well too. Be sure to wrap it in wax paper, foil and place in a Ziploc before putting it in the freezer.


  • ½ pound blanched almonds
  • 6 ounces high quality imported semisweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted margarine at room temperature, cut into small pieces plus 2 tablespoons for greasing the pan
  • 8 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise and scrape off the seed (See Note)
  • 1/3 cup sifted unsweetened, imported cocoa powder


  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Grease a 12x2½ inches spring form pan with margarine. Line it with wax paper and grease the paper.
  3. Grind almonds finely, almost like flour in the food processor.
  4. Place chocolate and margarine into a double boiler set over simmering water. Melt the chocolate until smooth, remove the top and cool.
  5. Beat the egg yolks in an electric mixer using a balloon whisk, at medium speed, adding 1 cup sugar gradually until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  6. With the motor off fold in almonds, chocolate, vanilla seeds and cocoa. Combine well with a large rubber spatula.
  7. Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer, at high speed, until small peaks show. Now add the 1½ tablespoon sugar until stiff. With a large rubber spatula, fold half of the whites into the chocolate mixture. Reverse the process and spoon the chocolate over the whites. Gently fold the two together making a motion like a figure 8 until just combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes. A cake tester inserted in the center should come out almost dry.
  9. Cool on a wire rack. Remove the rim and invert unto a serving platter. Discard the wax paper.


Vanilla beans should be cut horizontally to expose the inside seeds. Use the tip of a knife to collect the seeds. If you only need half of the seeds of a bean, simply cut the bean in half, before you cut it open.