4 cups stale bread
4 cups hot milk (add 1 more cup if the bread is completely dry)
170 grams sugar
140 grams pinenuts
230 grams golden raisins
230 grams candied orange, diced
110 grams amaretti, ground
140 grams dark, good-quality cocoa powder
1 lemon rind, grated
60 grams kirsch Butter to dot top of cake before baking
For this recipe, avoid using electric appliances. Hand work will produce the best results.
Remove the crust from the bread, cut into small cubes and soak in the hot milk. Stir well to make sure all the bread is wet. Set aside for 24 hours. Mix all the remaining ingredients (except the butter and icing sugar) in a separate bowl and set aside. The next day, using a wire whisk, purée the bread completely and evenly.
Add more milk if necessary. (The mixture should look like a loose porridge.) Start adding all the rest of the ingredients, stirring well to amalgamate the flavours. Reserve a handful of pinenuts for the top of the cake.
Butter the sides and the bottom of a 12-inch ring-mould or springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Pour the batter in it and sprinkle a handful of pinenuts along with a dusting of regular sugar on top. Place a few bits of butter on top and place the pan in the oven.
Bake at 350 F for 45 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out sticky, not dry.
Allow to cool and remove from the mould, then sprinkle with icing sugar.
The torte should be relatively moist. Serve with crème anglaise, ice cream, whipped cream or seasonal poached fruit.
Chef Massimo Capra is co-owner of Mistura and Sopra Upper Lounge in Toronto and the Rainbow Room Fallsview Restaurant in Niagara Falls, Ont. His new book, 3 Chefs: The Kitchen Men, was recently published by Whitecap Books.