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