The following excerpt and recipe for Flourless Lemon & Almond Cake With Chocolate Ganache is from Amber Guinness's cookbook "Italian Coastal: Recipes and stories from where the land meets the sea." It's available for purchase on Amazon

This is a lemon version of the famous chocolate almond torta from the island of Capri. I love its nutty citrusy notes, particularly when paired with the smooth, velvety chocolate ganache. Whenever I see a lemon caprese on a restaurant menu I will order it, but am often downcast if the cake isn’t lemony enough, which is partly why I started making it for myself at home and why this recipe calls for the zest of five lemons. It also just happens to be gluten-free.

Flourless Lemon & Almond Cake With Chocolate Ganache

  • Prep Time:25 mins
  • Cook Time:45 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr 10 mins
  • Servings:8
  • Medium


  • Butter to grease the baking pan
  • 100 grams or 3 ½ ounces blanched hazelnuts
  • 75 grams or 2 ¾ ounces white chocolate broken into pieces
  • 25 grams or 1 ounce cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 200 grams or 7 ounces caster sugar or superfine sugar plus 1 tbsp extra
  • 200 grams or 7 ounces ground almonds
  • 4 organic eggs separated
  • Grated zest 5 lemons
  • Juice ½ lemon
  • 90 grams or 3 ounces unsalted butter melted
  • 100 grams or 3 ½ ounces dark chocolate broken into small pieces
  • 150 ml or 5 ounces double cream or heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar or superfine sugar
Photo by Saghar Setareh
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 400°F (conventional oven) or 350°F (convection/fan-forced oven). Butter a round 20 cm (8 inch) baking pan and line the base with baking parchment.

  • Step 2

    In a food processor chop the hazelnuts, white chocolate, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon of caster sugar until roughly ground. Tip into a bowl, mix in the ground almonds and set aside.

  • Step 3

    Using handheld electric beaters, whisk the egg yolks, lemon zest, and remaining sugar until thick and pale. Mix in the lemon juice and ground almond mixture. Pour over the melted butter to help the mixture come together more easily.

  • Step 4

    Whisk the egg whites until medium stiff peaks form, adding the extra tablespoon of sugar halfway through. Using a clean metal spoon, gently fold the egg whites into the almond mixture, bit by bit.

  • Step 5

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean(ish). If it comes out covered in batter, bake for another 5 minutes and test again. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for 45-60 minutes before turning out onto a serving plate.

  • Step 6

    About 15 minutes before you turn out the cake, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, gently heat the cream and sugar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a simmer, then immediately remove from the heat. You don’t want the cream to boil or it will split the ganache.

  • Step 7

    Pour the hot cream over the chocolate in the bowl and leave to sit for 2 minutes, then whisk thoroughly until thick and glossy. Let the ganache cool for 10 minutes — it should be a loose but spoonable consistency that won’t run down the side of the cake.

  • Step 8

    Gradually spoon the ganache into the center of the cake and smooth it out to the side using a spatula or the back of a spoon. Cut into slices and serve. The cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

    Courtesy of Thames & Hudson

Excerpted from Italian Coastal, by Amber Guinness

© Thames & Hudson Australia 2024

Text © Amber Guinness

Reprinted by permission of Thames & Hudson Inc,