Chocolate Almond Torte with Rhubarb Sorbet


Chocolate Almond Torte with Rhubarb Sorbet
This mouth-watering recipe was made famous by Elizabeth David and is based on the French classic Reine de Saba or Queen of Sheba cake, so it's guaranteed to be a winner.

Serves 8


Made from ground almonds, this torte is a fabulous gluten-free option. It’s also very easy to make and even more easy to eat; the end result is a very moist, melt-in-your-mouth treat that any guests (or just you!) will love. Serve it simply with whipped cream, a ball of vanilla bean ice-cream, or with a scoop of raspberry and rhubarb sorbet.

250g bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2tbsp brandy or cognac

2tbsp espresso coffee (double espresso)

200g butter, soft

200g castor sugar

200g ground almonds

6 eggs separated


1 Preheat oven to 160C. Grease a springform cake tin and line with baking paper.

2 Combine chocolate, brandy and coffee in a bowl over water or in a double boiler. Stir when melted and add butter and sugar. Mix well.

3 Add ground almonds and stir very well. Beat egg yolks and stir into the chocolate mix off the heat.

4 Beat the egg whites until firm. Lighten the chocolate mix with a spoon full of the egg whites and then fold in the rest of the whites and spoon into the tin.

5 Bake for 40-45 minutes. The cake will set a little gooey in the centre. It will have developed a crust and be very fragile. Cool completely in the tin and invert onto a serving plate. Dust with Dutch cocoa powder or icing sugar.



Rhubarb is such an underrated ingredient. Technically it is savoury but with the addition of sugar turns it into something magical and can be served with any number of dishes. Add a few raspberries if you have some to make this delicious sorbet.

500g rhubarb, trimmed, washed and cut into 2cm long pieces

500g frozen raspberries

300g castor sugar

500ml sugar syrup (250ml of hot water added to 250g castor sugar and stir until dissolved)


1 Mix the fruit and sugar together and place in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Place over a low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring often until all the rhubarb and raspberries are soft and tender.

2 Cool and then puree in a blender being careful not to overfill. Pass the puree through a sieve discarding any seeds and stringy bits.

3 Add enough of the sugar syrup to balance the tart acidity of the fruit so as you get a nice sweet and sour flavour. Tasting all the time remember not too sweet and not to sour.

4 Churn in an ice cream/sorbet machine or freeze overnight and using a metal scraper smash up the frozen puree and process in a food processor until it resembles creamy slushy snow. Pour into a suitable container and place covered with greaseproof paper and a tight-fitting lid until ready for use. Allow at least 3 hours in the freezer before scooping with an ice cream scoop or alternatively use a large tablespoon.



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