Italian Flourless Chocolate Cake
Just east of Bologna, Italy, the walled city of Ferrara is known for la torta tenerina, a kind of chocolate cake with an almost creamy interior and a thin, crisp crust. It’s a simple confection, and even still, it’s said that every baker and home cook has his or her own recipe. This version comes from Eleonora Masiero and Ennio Occhiali at Cusina e Butega, a combination bakery and restaurant.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 7tablespoons/100 grams unsalted butter softened, plus more for pan
- ½cup/60 grams confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more for dusting
- 4ounces/113 grams 70 percent “top quality” dark chocolate
- 2extra-large eggs, separated
- 2tablespoons/20 grams potato starch
- 3 ½tablespoons/40 grams superfine sugar
Step 1Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch cake pan. Line bottom with parchment.
Step 2In a large bowl, using a mixer or by hand, beat the 7 tablespoons butter with the confectioners’ sugar until smooth and creamy. Melt chocolate in a pan on top of stove. Pour warm chocolate over the butter and sugar mixture and beat until smooth. Whisk in egg yolks one at a time. Stir in potato starch.
Step 3In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in superfine sugar and continue beating until firm peaks develop. Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture.
Step 4Scrape the batter out of the bowl, and spread it in the pan. Bake for 18 minutes. Cake will rise and top will look dry and a little crackly. Remove pan from oven, place on a rack and allow to cool completely, about 2 hours. Cake will sink a bit.
Step 5Unmold cake, peel off parchment, then invert onto a serving dish so the crackly surface is on top. Generously sift confectioners’ sugar over the top, then serve.