Dolci & Desserts Italian Regional Recipes

Torta Barozzi, Gluten-Free Chocolate and Coffee Grounds Cake from Emilia Romagna

Torta Barozzi, Barozzi Cake is a cake made with chocolate and coffee grounds, traditionally rectangular-shape. It is gluten-free since it has only peanut and almond flours, it has no yeast, it recalls of an American brownie moist inside and dry and crumbly outside. It is baked in foil, then cut into cubes and can be stored for up to 40 days.

Torta Barozzi is one of the most famous cakes in Emilia Romagna, a Central Italian region, typical of the town of Vignola in the province of Modena. Torta Barozzi dates back to 1886 created by Eugenio Gollini, founder of the homonymous pastry shop. Even then it was an incredibly modern cake being the first gluten-free cake that was created without using flour but peanuts. Modern for then, modern still now.

If you are passing through Vignola in Modena area, go to the Gollini pastry shop in Vignola and taste this traditional cake. Its original recipe is jealously guarded by the bakery where it is made and the trademark “Torta Barozzi” is registered.

In the meantime, let’s making it at home just to get into the Torta Barozzi’s mood.


Serves 4, Preparation 25 mins, Cooking 30 mins

  • 250 g of dark chocolate 70%
  • 150 g of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 50 g peeled almonds to be ground or almond flour
  • 50 g unsalted peanuts to be ground
  • 120 g softened unsalted butter
  • 30 g Coffee grounds or 1 small cup of ristretto coffee
  • A small glass of rum

Method

Prepare a coffee in order to get the coffee grounds, i.e. the compact wet powder that remains in the filter of the Caffettiera – Italian coffee maker – after brewing. Or just use a small cup of ristretto coffee.

If you don’t have almond flour, just toast the almonds in the oven at 150° C / F 300 / Gas 2 for about 5-6 minutes, no longer. When they have cooled completely, reduce them to flour with a mixer. Same for peanuts. Do not turn off the oven and re-set the oven temp to 180 C / Gas 4 / F 350.

Tip: To prevent them from clumping together instead of turning into a powder, flour them slightly before putting them into the mix. You can also leaving them slightly grainy.

Break up the chocolate, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the broken up chocolate and melt itwhile stirring. Set aside and allow to cool.

Once the chocolate has cooled, add it to the egg yolk mixture with half of the sugar, stirring well.

Tip: the chocolate has to be warm or cooled down, otherwise if it is still hot it will cook the eggs.

Also add the almond and peanut flour, coffee grounds and rum, stir.

Whip the egg whites firm adding the other half of the sugar just when the egg whites are already half-whipped. Add them gently to the chocolate mixture mixing from the bottom up.

Cover with foil a 20-22 cm rectangular cake tin, pour the mixture into it.

Bake in static oven for about 20-25 minutes max.

The surface should be dry and wrinkled, while the inside should still be moist and almost creamy: if you insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake, it should come out moist and not dry. So the opposite of what happens with other standard cakes.

Take it out of the oven, let it cool, then remove it from the cake tin with its foil, and serve it by cutting it into cubes. No need to sprinkle it with icing sugar.

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