Chocolate Espresso Torte:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot brewed espresso
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 pound semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 Cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 large eggs, at room temperature
6 large egg yolks, at room temperature


12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (6 ounces) sliced almonds, toasted

White chocolate ganache topping:

1 pound white chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream

To toast almonds, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Spread the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 8 to 12 minutes, stirring two or three times, until lightly golden. Transfer the almonds to another baking sheet to stop the cooking process.

Make the torte:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 by 2 1/2-inch round springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper. Using two 15-by-12-inch pieces of heavy-duty foil, tightly wrap the outside of the pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the hot brewed espresso and the sugar; stir to dissolve and set aside.
  3. In the top of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering, water, melt the chocolate with the butter, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove the top part of the double boiler from the bottom. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl.
  4. Using a hand-held electric mixer set at low speed, heat the espresso/ sugar mixture into the chocolate mixture for 15 to 20 seconds, until blended.
  5. One at a time, add the eggs and egg yolks, beating for no longer than 5 seconds after each addition. Using a rubber spatula, fold the mixture several times to ensure that it is evenly blended. (The batter will be thin.)
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Place the torte in a roasting pan on the center rack of the oven. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan so that the water comes halfway up the side of the springform pan
  7. Blake the torte for 1 hour, until the tip of a thin-bladed knife inserted in the center of the torte comes out clean.
  8. Remove the torte from the roasting pan. Remove the foil from around the outside of the springform pan. Cool the torte in the pan set on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until ready to serve.

Make the kapinziner:

  1. Line a baking sheet with a rectangle of parchment paper measuring 16 l/2-by-11- inches.
  2. Melt the chocolate with the butter according to the instructions in the Chocolate Key. Stir in the toasted almonds.
  3. Pour the chocolate/almond mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a large offset metal cake spatula, spread the mixture in a thin even layer, almost covering the paper. Place a sheet of parchment paper directly on the surface and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until set.

Make the ganache topping:

  1. Place the white chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, bring the cream to a gentle boil. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate. Let the mixture stand for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate; whisk until smooth. Strain the white chocolate ganache into a stainless steel bowl . Cover the surface of the ganache with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature.

Unmold the kapinziner:

  1. Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator. Carefully peel off the top layer of parchment paper. Working quickly using your hands, break the chocolate-almond bark into abstract pieces. If the chocolate becomes too soft to handle return the baking sheet to the refrigerator briefly until the chocolate is firm again. Store the kapinziner between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Decorate the chocolate espresso torte:

  1. Undo the clasp on the side of the springform pan and carefully lift off the side of the pan to remove it from the torte. If the torte sticks to the side of the pan, run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the torte to loosen it. Place a 9-inch cardboard cake circle over the top of the torte, and carefully invert the torte onto the cardboard circle. Carefully remove the bottom of the springform pan and peel off the paper. What was the bottom of the torte is now the top.
  2. Using a metal cake spatula, spread the white chocolate ganache evenly over the top and sides of the chocolate espresso torte.
  3. With a sharp thin-bladed knife, slice the torte, wiping the blade clean between each slice. To serve, place a slice of chocolate espresso torte on a dessert plate and top each slice with a few pieces of kapinziner.