This is Vered Guttman's version of a flourless Italian torte, with a touch of her favorite Middle Eastern spice. She prefers starting with whole spices rather than ground, for best flavor.
Servings: 6 - 8
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 10 ounces dark (semisweet or bittersweet) chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter-flavored margarine or unsalted butter (use margarine if serving the cake in a kosher Seder meal)
- 15 green cardamom pods (may substitute 1 teaspoon ground cardamom)
- 1 cup roasted, unsalted, shelled pistachios
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
Combine the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat on high speed for 10 minutes, until the mixture is light and creamy and has doubled in volume.
Meanwhile, heat about 1 inch of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Place a medium stainless-steel mixing bowl on top, fitting it snugly over the opening of the saucepan. Place the chocolate and the margarine or butter in the bowl and let them melt. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir until smooth and well combined.
While the chocolate and butter are melting, use the widest flat part of a chef's knife to crack open the cardamom pods on a cutting board. Transfer the seeds (only) to the bowl of a food processor; add the pistachios and process until finely ground (the mixture should go quiet in the bowl).
Fold a little of the warm chocolate into the beaten egg-sugar mixture; the mixture will deflate a bit, which is okay. Fold in the remaining chocolate, then the nut-spice mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes; the top may crack a bit and the center of the cake will be soft. Turn off the oven and leave the cake inside for 10 minutes, with the oven door slightly ajar. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting.
From Washington caterer Vered Guttman.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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