A torte for those who love fruit and chocolate combinations. Serve with amaretto crème anglaise, brandy whipped cream, or almond ice cream.
For the cake, combine the chocolate and butter in a large mixing bowl and heat over simmering water until melted. Remove from the heat and let cool until just slightly warm.
Whisk the egg yolks and half the sugar together in a mixer bowl and place over simmering water. Stir constantly until warm, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and beat until it forms a slowly dissolving ribbon on the batter when the beater is lifted, about 10 minutes.
Stir the apricot puree, liqueur, and flour (and nuts if using) into the slightly warm chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the egg yolk mixture.
In a clean mixer bowl, beat the egg whites, remaining sugar, and the salt to medium-soft peaks. Stir a quarter of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, cover with heavy plastic wrap, and tape down the sides. Place the cake pan in a larger baking pan and add enough hot water so that the cake pan barely floats. Cover all tightly with foil.
Remove the pan from the water bath and let the cake cool on a wire rack. Warm the bottom of the pan slightly over very low heat on top of the stove and turn the cooled cake out onto a plate or cardboard circle. Turn it right side up again onto another plate or cardboard circle.
For the glaze, combine the chocolate, water, and cream in the top half of a double boiler and melt over simmering water, stirring occasionally but gently to avoid making air bubbles. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and liqueur. Let cool until it is the consistency of honey and just thick enough to opaquely coat the back of a spoon.
Trim the sides of the cake to smooth them. Place the cake, still on the cardboard circle, on a rack and ladle the glaze over, tilting the cake to coat the sides. Let the glaze set. For garnish, press the almonds into the glaze around the side of the cake. Place the cake on a serving plate and serve with whipped cream.
© 1998 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.