Torta di noci: walnut and chocolate cake – Chestnuts and Truffles TV

This classic recipe comes from La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene by Pellegrino Artusi, first published in 1891. Not widely known outside Italy, this book is considered to be the definitive text on traditional Italian cooking, however, a great many of the recipes are from Tuscan cuisine. Artusi was born in Forlimpopoli in Emilia-Romagna but lived for most of his adult life in Florence.

This cake is delicious served on its own with tea, or slightly warm with cream as a dessert. It’s gluten-free apart from the breadcrumbs sprinkled on the top to add a crunch, but these could be substituted with crushed walnuts or even icing sugar sprinkled on after baking.

Artusi writes that ‘Dai miei commensali questo รจ stato giudicato un dolce squisito.‘ ‘My dinner companions judged this to be an exquisite dessert.‘ I agree. Buon appetito!

Torta di noci

Serves 8
140g (5 ounces) shelled walnuts
140g (5 ounces) granulated sugar
140g (5 ounces) chocolate powder
1 sachet of vanilla sugar
4 eggs, separated
20g (1 ounce) candied citron


  1. Place the walnuts and sugar in a mixer and pulse until the consistency of flour.
  2. Mix the walnuts and sugar together with the chocolate powder and the vanilla sugar.
  3. Stir the egg yolks into the mixture.
  4. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and then fold the rest of the mixture into them.
  5. Add the candied peel and stir to combine.
  6. Place the mixture in a buttered cake tin and sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs.
  7. Bake at 180ยฐ C (355ยฐ F) for 25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.



11 thoughts on “Torta di noci: walnut and chocolate cake – Chestnuts and Truffles TV”

    1. Hehe, I do have an outtake of me shouting at one ๐Ÿ™‚ The tree is going to look super. Glad you liked this little tribute. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. It is, isn’t it? I think this is perhaps an older version, but this kind of cake with nuts and eggs is very Italian. I’m thinking of making it with hazelnuts and orange peel.

      1. That sounds wonderful-orange and chocolate are such a good pair. i make my Torta Caprese all’arancia-with orange peel and grand marnier. I posted the recipe in October. Now i’m hungry!

      2. Oh wonderful with the grand marnier! I’ve just made a panforte with unusual ingredients which I will be posting at some point before Christmas … ๐Ÿ™‚ Not hungry any more having tried it lol ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe!!! It’s similar to a recipe from my grandmother’s notebook. It’s a Venetian Christmas cake, torta di noci alla vaniglia, but we leave out the lemon and use lots of vanilla sugar. It has also got a frosting made from vanilla sugar

    1. Grazie! I guess Artusi really is the bible of Italian cooking ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh that sounds wonderful! Is the recipe on your blog? I’d love to see it ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I’ll take a look at Artusi’s book ๐Ÿ™‚ Thought of publishing the cake pictures and recipe a few days before Christmas – it’s usually a favorite cake of my grandmother’s – her birthday is on 23 December. Will write to you then, so you don’t miss it ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Pingback: La Colomba Marietta: Italian Easter cake (recipe) « Chestnuts and Truffles

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