Italian Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Cake - Torta Barozzi

Italian Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Cake - Torta Barozzi

Pasticceria Gollini in Vignola, Italy, not far from Modena, is home to a much-celebrated flourless chocolate cake known as torta Barozzi. Created in 1886 by pastry chef Eugenio Gollini and named for Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola, a 16th-century architect, this much-loved sweet continues to be produced today according to a closely guarded secret recipe. This Torta Barozzi recipe is one interpretation found in the July-August 2021 issue of Milk Street magazine, as the original recipe has been shrouded in secrecy since it was created in 1886. With an ingredients list that almost always includes dark chocolate, nuts, rum and coffee, this cake is a guaranteed crowd pleaser that also happens to be gluten-free. Some important points before you begin: Use high quality bittersweet (70%) chocolate; beat the sugar and egg yolks very well; do not overbeat the egg whites; and most importantly, do not overbake the cake.

Download Italian Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Cake - Torta Barozzi recipe

Ingredients

141 grams (10 tablespoons) salted butter, cut into 10 pieces, plus more for the pan

134 grams (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate (about 70%, like Lindt bittersweet), chopped

20 grams (¼ cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder, plus more for dusting

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

4 large eggs, separated, room temperature

160 grams (¾ cup) white sugar, divided

100 grams (1 cup) almond flour

½ teaspoon table salt

3 tablespoons dark rum

1. Heat the oven to 350°f with a rack in the middle position. Butter an 8-inch square pan, line the bottom with a parchment square and butter the parchment.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, cocoa, and espresso powder. Let stand for a few minutes to allow the chocolate to soften, then whisk until the mixture is smooth; cool until barely warm to the touch.

3. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk the egg yolks and 107 grams (½ cup) of the sugar until lightened and creamy, about 30 seconds. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk until homogeneous. Add the almond flour and salt, then whisk until fully incorporated. Whisk in the rum; set aside.

4. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip the egg whites on medium-high until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. With the mixer running, gradually add the remaining 53 grams (¼ cup) sugar, then beat until the whites hold soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Add about a third of the whipped whites to the yolk-chocolate mixture and fold with a silicone spatula to lighten and loosen the base. Scrape in the remaining whites and gently fold them into the batter until no streaks remain.

5. Transfer to the prepared pan and gently shake or tilt the pan to level the batter.

6. Bake until the cake is slightly domed, and a toothpick inserted at the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 to 45 minutes; the cake will deflate slightly as it cools.

7. Run a paring knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake, then invert onto a platter; needed, peel off and discard the parchment. Cool completely. Dust with cocoa before serving.

Italian Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Cake - Torta Barozzi piece


Fast Easy Delicious Chicken Vegetable Soup

Fast Easy Delicious Chicken Vegetable Soup

This surprisingly delicious chicken soup is quick to prepare and requires only a handful of readily available ingredients. I store it in the freezer in individual serving size containers, and just grab one when I need a fast bite.

Download Fast Easy Delicious Chicken Vegetable Soup recipe

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

4-5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

1 parsnip, peeled and chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2-3 ribs celery, chopped

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, optional

2 bay leaves, fresh or dried

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

6 cups good quality chicken stock

2 cups water

1 pound (the average weight of 1 package) chicken breast tenders, cut into 1” cubes

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

¼ cup fresh dill, chopped

1. Place a large pot over moderate heat and add the extra virgin olive oil and heat until shimmering.

2. Work close to the stove, and add vegetables to the pot as you chop, in the order they are listed. Once all the vegetables are in, add optional diced tomatoes, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes.

3. Add chicken stock and water to the pot and raise heat to bring liquid to a boil. Add diced chicken tenderloins, return soup to a boil, and reduce heat back to moderate. Cook chicken 8-10 minutes. Remove soup from the heat. Stir in parsley and dill, remove bay leaves, and serve.


Easy Summer Peach Caprese Salad

20200805_154328 Fresh Peach Caprese Salad

A fresh twist on an old classic. This is one of the most popular summer dishes that I make. Everyone raves, but the key is not so much the recipe (which is simple and basic) but rather the availability of summer ripe peaches at their peak of freshness.

Download Easy Summer Peach Caprese Salad recipe

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1½ tablespoons lemon juice

Salt and pepper

1-pound ripe peaches, quartered and pitted, each quarter cut into 4 slices

12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick

6 large fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces, and a few basil sprigs for garnish

White balsamic vinegar (to drizzle, optional)

1. Whisk oil, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper together in large bowl. Add peaches and gently toss to coat.

2. Shingle peaches and mozzarella on serving platter. Drizzle any remaining dressing from bowl over top. Sprinkle with basil and garnish platter with basil sprigs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, with optional balsamic drizzle.


Easy Fresh Summer Tomato Pasta Caprese

Fresh Summer Pasta Caprese

 I try to make this recipe (which I found years ago in a Cook’s Illustrated magazine) every summer when tomatoes are in peak season. Inspired by the classic caprese salad, this pasta uses just a few ingredients that depends on high quality ingredients – ripe tomatoes, great olive oil, and fresh buffalo mozzarella.

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 - 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, more if needed depending on tomatoes

1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)

1 small shallot, minced fine (about 2 tablespoons)

Salt and ground black pepper

1 ½ pounds ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice

12 ounces fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 pound penne pasta or other short tubular or curly pasta such as fusilli or campanelle

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon sugar, if needed, depending on the ripeness of the tomatoes

1. Whisk oil, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, garlic, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in large bowl. Add tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella and gently toss to combine; set aside. Do not marinate for longer than 45 minutes.

2. While tomatoes are marinating, bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil in stockpot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta, stir to separate, and cook until al dente. Drain well.

3. Add pasta to tomato and mozzarella mixture and gently toss to combine. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in basil; adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice or sugar, if desired, and serve immediately.


Single Layer Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

20201205_163802 Banana Cake Torte

Sometimes a single layer cake is all you need for a small gathering, and they can look just as festive as a traditional layer cake. This cake is light, tender, and the banana flavor is enhanced with sour cream and lemon. I use cream cheese frosting on this cake, but if you are a fan of chocolate and banana, you could frost with a ganache or any favorite frosting.

Download Single Layer Banana Cake Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake Ingredients

2 large ripe bananas (1 cup/227 g/8 oz)

2 tablespoons (30g/1 ounce) sour cream you could use up to 1/2 cup (4 ½ oz/121g) it will make the cake extra moist

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons grated lemon or lime zest

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

2 cups sifted cake flour (7 oz/200 g)

¾ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar (6 oz/200g)

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons soft unsalted butter (5 oz/ 142 g)

Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows below)

Cake Instructions

1. Grease and flour a 9-inch (23-cm) by 2-inch (5-cm) round cake pan, after you line the bottom with parchment paper, and pre-heat the oven to 350ºF/176ºC

2. In a food processor, process the bananas and sour cream until smooth. Add the eggs, lemon zest and vanilla, and process until just blended.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and using hand mixer (or stand mixer) mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the soft butter and half the banana mixture and beat on low speed until the ingredients are moistened. Increase to high speed (medium on stand mixer) and beat for 1 ½ minutes. Scrape down the side of bowl and gradually add remaining banana mixture in 2 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Give batter a final stir with rubber spatula.

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake come out clean, and the cake when pressed lightly in the middle springs back.

 

Frosting Ingredients

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners' sugar

4 ounces cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces and softened

¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting Instructions

1. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, 1 piece at a time, beating after each addition until fully incorporated. Add vanilla and mix until no lumps remain. Spread on cooled Banana cake.