While visiting the famed Brandolini family at their Vistorta wine estate in Friuli, they served us this dense cake—a family recipe.
To make this cake gluten-free:
Replace the flour with unsweetened cocoa powder for preparing the pan.
- 13 tbsp. softened butter
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 6 oz. semisweet chocolate
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 1⁄4 cups finely ground almonds
- 1 tbsp. brandy
- 2 pinches salt
- Confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 375°. Butter an 11" springform pan with 1 tbsp. of the butter, line bottom with parchment paper; butter paper, then dust bottom and sides with flour. Melt chocolate in top of double boiler set above simmering water over medium heat. Set aside to cool.
Put remaining 12 tbsp. butter in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating for 2-3 minutes. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well between each addition, then add chocolate, beating just enough to blend it in. Stir in almonds and brandy, then set aside.
Put egg whites and salt in a large clean bowl and beat with an electric mixer until they form medium-stiff peaks. Add a third of the whites to the chocolate mixture and fold in with a rubber spatula, then carefully fold in remaining whites in two batches, taking care not to deflate the batter. Pour into prepared pan.
Put pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350°, and continue baking until a skewer stuck into center of cake comes out clean, 30-40 minutes. Remove cake from oven and set aside to cool. Unmold, peel off parchment, and place, right side up, on a cake plate. Dust liberally with confectioners' sugar just before serving.