Torta caprese and a coffee-free tiramisu: Kate and Giancarlo Caldesi’s Italian pudding recipes | Italian food and drink

sSurrounded by lemon groves, almond and walnut trees, and with the Arab influence of the Middle Ages, the Amalfi Coast has some of the best cakes and pies in Italy – not to mention the ice cream and granita sold on every street corner. Today’s dense, delicious chocolate cake from Capri, for example, is packed with tiny nuggets of almonds, while the lighter version of the classic tiramisu has a strawberry sauce that’s wonderfully versatile to have in the fridge: it adds a flavor explosion to a bowl of thick yogurt. with slices of banana or vanilla ice cream, and also looks fantastic in a glass of prosecco.

Torta caprese (chocolate and almond cake; top pictured)

Whole peeled almonds save a lot of time and effort, but if you can only find them with the skins, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes first, then rub between two tea towels, and the skins will come off quite easily.

Preparation 10 minutes
Cook 1 hour + cooling
makes 1 round cake of 22 cmat 6-8 . to serve

200g salted butter at room temperaturediced, plus extra for greasing
200g completely skinned almonds
200 g dark chocolate
(minimum 70% cocoa solids), divided into squares
4 eggsseparated
150g caster sugar
sugarto dust

Grease a 22cm round loose-bottomed cake tin with butter and preheat oven to 180C (160C Fan)/350F/Gas 4). Place the almonds in a baking dish, bake for 10 minutes until lightly browned, then chop (or grind in a food processor) to the consistency of Demerara sugar.

While the almonds are toasting, melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (or in a microwave, being careful not to burn the chocolate), but do not touch it, and let it cool. a little.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. In a third bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks.

Add the melted chocolate and butter to the egg yolk mixture, mix well and stir in the ground almonds. Fold in the egg whites until well blended, then pour everything into the greased tin.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the pie forms a crust on the outside (don’t expect a skewer to come out clean as the center of this cake will remain moist). Let it cool in the mold before removing it from the mold.

To decorate the cake, place a patterned cloth on top, sift a fine dusting of icing sugar and lift the cloth gently. Serve at room temperature – we like to eat this with orange ice cream.

Tiramisù fragole e limone (quick strawberry and lemon tiramisu)

Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi's quick strawberry and lemon tiramisu.
Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi’s Quick Strawberry & Lemon Tiramisu

This amazing quick dessert is one we first tried in Positano in a lovely restaurant called Next 2† Served in individual glasses, it is very impressive to look at.

Preparation 10 minutes
Cook 50 minutes
Serves 6

For the strawberry sauce
500 g strawberries (or raspberries, or a combination of both)
25-50 g caster sugar
to taste and depending on the sweetness of the fruit

For the tiramisu
500g strawberriespeeled
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
caster sugar
tablespoon maraschino liqueuror white wine or elderflower syrup
Strawberry sauce (see above and method), to taste – you need between half and all; store excess amounts in the refrigerator for up to a week
12 lady fingers
sugarto dust

Make the sauce first. Peel the strawberries and cut any large ones in half. Place the fruit in a medium saucepan and add the sugar to taste. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the strawberries yield easily when crushed against the sides of the pan. Strain into a pitcher or container, let cool, cover and store in the refrigerator.

Now for the tiramisu. Set aside six medium-sized strawberries and slice the rest. In a bowl, whip the cream until stiff and whisk in the mascarpone. Gently fold in and shorten the lemon zest and sugar, followed by the lemon juice.

In a flat dish, mix the liqueur with one and a half tablespoons of strawberry sauce and dip the lady fingers in the sauce mix until they are just soft but not soggy.

Place a few sliced ​​strawberries in the bottom of six martini glasses or tumblers, cut sides out, and cover alternately with half of the cream, remaining sauce, and soaked ladyfingers. Finish with the remaining cream.

Fan the reserved strawberries and use to garnish each glass, then sprinkle lightly with icing sugar and serve.

  • Recipes extracted from the Amalfi Coast, by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi, published by Hardie Grant for £16.99. To order a copy for £14.78, go to