'Great British Baking Show' Champ Giuseppe Dell'Anno's Chocolate Torte Cake Recipe 'Is Heaven'

"It's a very rich cake with a thin, lightly crispy exterior and a delicate, almost creamy center," says the Great British Baking Show 2021 winner

PEOPLE FOOD - 12/12 Issue - Giuseppe Dell’Anno - Chocolate Torte Cake
Photo: Victor Protasio

"This is heaven for chocolate lovers," says Great British Baking Show 2021 winner Giuseppe Dell'Anno of this decadent showstopper from his upcoming cookbook Giuseppe's Italian Bakes.

The cake, also known as a torta tenerina, is a classic Italian dessert. "The story goes that it was invented in the early 1900s to honor the tender heart of Queen Elena, wife of King Victor Emmanuel III," according to Dell'Anno.

The "tender heart" is represented by the crisp outside and gooey inside of the cake. "It's a very rich cake with a thin, lightly crispy exterior and a delicate, almost creamy center," says Dell'Anno.

The Great British Bake Off S5 Giuseppe
Giuseppe Dell'Anno. Mark Bourdillon/Netflix

Giuseppe Dell'Anno's Chocolate Torte Cake

7 oz. dark chocolate (70 to 75% cacao) bar, chopped or dark chocolate chips (about 1¼ cups)

½ cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter, diced, plus more for greasing

3 large eggs, at room temperature, yolks and whites separated

⅛ tsp. table salt

⅔ cup superfine sugar

½ cup (about 1⅞ oz.) bleached cake flour, plus more for dusting

3 Tbsp. whole milk

Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

Powdered sugar, for dusting

3 chocolate truffles (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°, and set rack in center of the oven. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper.

2. Fill a medium saucepan with water to a depth of 1 to 2 inches; bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer over medium low. Place chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl; place over the saucepan, making sure that bottom of bowl does not touch water. Cook over medium low, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool.

3. Beat egg whites and salt with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until foamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add ⅓ cup of the sugar, and beat on medium speed until stiff, shiny peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes (do not overbeat; meringue should not look dry and clumpy). Set aside. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and remaining ⅓ cup sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 4 to 6 minutes.

4. Gradually sift the flour into the yolk mixture while beating on low speed until smooth, about 2 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape sides of bowl. Pour in chocolate mixture and milk; beat on medium until fully combined and glossy brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Use a silicone spatula to gently fold in egg white mixture in 3 additions. Pour into prepared pan, and spread gently to level.

5. Bake in preheated oven until top looks light brown and crisp, 20 to 22 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove outer springform ring, and transfer cake to a cooling rack to cool completely. Dust top of cake with cocoa powder, then dust two thirds of the top with a generous layer of powdered sugar. Place truffles across the boundary between cocoa and powdered sugar as decoration. Slice and serve.

Serves: 8
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 55 minutes

Quick tip! "When mixing whipped egg whites into the batter, do not use a whisk," says Dell'Anno. "A silicone spatula will minimize the amount of air knocked out during the process."

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