In Italian, a torta is a cake. This is the kind of cake you see on marble counters in cafes and espresso bars, the ones with clattering plates, the hiss of steam and whirr of grinders, and always the nonchalant but impossibly slick barista called Marco.
This is a rich cake so you don’t need much. It goes well with coffee, keeps well and is actually better the next day. That makes it a perfect ending to a long lunch, especially on sunny early autumn days.
The almonds are toasted in the oven before being ground in the Thermomix, but they are not as fine as commercial nut meal, which gives the cake more texture. Note that the slow-cooked quinces you’ll use to top this cake (page 124) will have deep red, glossy syrup which should be thick enough to brush over the quinces. If the syrup is too thin, boil it in a small pan until large bubbles appear.