Torta Tenerina, Italy’s Flourless Chocolate Cake

By Team Epoch Taste
Team Epoch Taste
Team Epoch Taste
February 7, 2017 Updated: October 8, 2018

Torta Tenerina, Italy’s Flourless Chocolate Cake


This flourless cake, which has a crisp, macaroon-like outer layer and a dense, incredibly moist center, is by far one of the best tasting chocolate desserts I’ve ever tried. As the cake cools, it collapses just a little, creating a pretty webbing on the delicious crust.

It’s made with only five ingredients, so be sure to use only quality chocolate, as it really stands out. A must-try classic from Ferrara, a city in Emilia-Romagna.

"Dolci: Italy's Sweets" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)
“Dolci: Italy’s Sweets” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)

Number Serves8


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate, 60 percent cacao or higher
  • 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch


Heat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 9 1/2-inch spring form cake pan.

In a large bowl beat 1/2 cup of the sugar with the egg yolks, using a whisk or electric hand mixer, until creamy and light yellow.

Put the chocolate into a small bowl and melt, either in the microwave or over a double boiler. Cut the butter into small slices and stir it into the chocolate until completely melted. Add the warm, but not hot, melted chocolate to the sugar-egg mixture and beat until well combined. Mix in the starch.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they begin to become firm, then add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff. Gently fold into the batter, a third at a time, and pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 19 minutes. Not longer! The cake will be soft in the center, so a toothpick will not come out clean. That’s normal. The cake will dry a little as it cools. Allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes before cutting it.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Reprinted from “Dolci: Italy’s Sweets” by Francine Segan. Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2011.