Makes: 1 9-inch cake
Candied Orange Peel
Peel of 3 large navel oranges, sliced 1 inch long
1½ cups sugar
Flourless Chocolate Cake
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment, then grease and dust the entire pan with sugar, tapping out any excess.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a metal or glass bowl placed over a pot of barely simmering water, stirring constantly. Once melted, remove the bowl from the heat and let cool slightly.
3. Whip the egg whites with 2 tbsp sugar until the whites hold a soft peak (when the whites curl when the beaters are lifted). Set aside.
4. In another bowl, whip the egg yolks with the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, the orange zest and the vanilla until doubled in volume, about 4 minutes. Fold the melted chocolate mixture into the whipped yolks, and then fold the whites into the mixture in two additions. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
5. Bake the torte for 35 minutes. As soon as you remove the cake from the oven it will begin to fall, but don't worry, it is supposed to. Cool the cake to room temperature then chill for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.
The torte should be stored refrigerated and sliced while cold, but if you can, allow the slices to sit out at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes before serving to really let that melt-in-your-mouth warmth build. Serve the torte with a few pieces of candied orange peel and even a drizzle of the syrup from the candied peel (recipe follows).
Candied Orange Peel
1. Using a paring knife or orange peeler, score the peel of the orange without cutting through the fruit by making two circular scores at the top and bottom of each orange, and then making 4 or 5 scores connecting the top and bottom circles. Peel away the skin of the orange carefully, and then cut these into ¼-inch strips.
2. Bring a pot of water up to a boil and drop in the peel. Simmer the peel for 1 minute, then strain, discarding the water.
3. Refill the pot with 1½ cups of fresh water and add the sugar. Bring this up to a simmer then add the peel and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 20 minutes – the peel will look slightly translucent (but not completely). Remove the pot from the heat and cool the peel in the syrup to room temperature.
Store the candied peel, refrigerated and in the syrup for up to a month.