Vistorta Chocolate Cake
While visiting the famed Brandolini family at their Vistorta wine estate in Friuli, they served us this dense cake—a family recipe.
Yield: serves 6-8
- 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.