Viennese-Style Chocolate Torte

Serves 10 to 12

This cake is best baked ahead. Let it sit overnight so it can firm up a little before you frost it.


  • Butter for baking pan
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely ground blanched almond meal/flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons potato starch
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces 60% dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 11/4 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut in large dice
  • 2 tablespoons Amaretto or brandy
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup (5 3/4 ounces) white sugar, divided
  • 5 ounces apricot jam, melted and strained
  • 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) heavy cream
  • 1/4 stick (1 ounce) unsalted butter
  • 5 ounces 60% dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • Sliced blanched almonds, lightly toasted, optional


Preheat the oven to 375° F. Butter the sides of a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the base with baking parchment and butter that, too.

Blend the almond meal, rice flour, cocoa, potato starch and salt, and set aside.

Combine the chocolate and butter in a bowl, and melt over hot water. Stir to combine. Add the brandy and almond extract and reserve. Let cool to tepid.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with half the sugar until lemon colored. Beat in the reserved chocolate-butter mixture.

In a separate bowl and using clean, dry beaters, whisk the egg whites until stiffened. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat at high speed until stiff but not dry.

Using a rubber spatula, stir one-third of the beaten egg whites into the melted chocolate mixture to loosen it. Fold in the flour mixture alternately with the remaining beaten egg whites to make a light batter without any streaks. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes. An inserted toothpick should come out almost dry nearer the edges but moist at the center.

Place the pan on a rack and let the cake cool completely. Don’t worry if a crisp “sugar bloom” has formed. Loosen the edges of the cake with a sharp knife. Invert onto the rack and peel off the paper. The sugar bloom will meld back in. Leave the cake smooth side up and let stand overnight under a cake dome or upturned bowl so the texture can even out.

Place a large sheet of foil on a work surface and center an upturned 8-inch cake pan on it. The foil will catch any spills. Place the cake on top. Pour the warm jam on top. Smooth with an offset spatula or a knife blade so it evenly covers the top and sides. Let stand for 1 hour to set.


Heat the cream and butter in a small pan just until tiny bubbles form around the edges. Add the chocolate and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes to melt, then stir well to combine. Let cool until thickened but still pourable.

Starting at the center, spiral over the cake, adding extra at the edges so it will spill over. Using a knife blade, smooth the sides, but try not to touch the top.

Refrigerate to set, then carefully transfer to a flat platter. Apply the sliced almonds to the sides if using; they will stick to the glaze. Chill until ready to serve. Cut with a warmed knife.

Nutritional Analysis:
Calories: 460, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 32g, Cholesterol: 120mg, Sodium: 60mg, Fiber: 4g