Classic Italian Chocolate Cake | Torta al Cioccolato

Italian chocolate cake is a tasty and simple dessert, a great classic of Italian pastry that no one can resist.

Italian chocolate cake is made with eggs, sugar, butter, flour, bitter cocoa powder and melted dark chocolate. The final result is a cake with an intense aroma and a soft, moist texture.

Along with Torta di Mele and Crostata, Torta al Cioccolato represents the Italian tradition of homemade desserts.

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Classic chocolate cake Italian recipe is easy to make and perfect for any time of day. Everyone likes it, most of all children!

High and fluffy, it’s great for a snack and perfect for breakfast with milk, coffee or orange juice. It’s delicious even plain with a dusting of powdered sugar.

You can think of this classic chocolate cake as a base for making other more elaborate and rich desserts.

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In fact, you can fill it with whipped cream, pastry cream or jam. Or decorate it with fresh fruit. Finally, serve it with gelato. You’ll make an impression!

Chocolate Cake is a classic Italian dessert with an unmistakable and unique aroma! It’s a delicious, wholesome and nutritious recipe that is easy to make and ready in minutes!

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How to Make Classic Italian Chocolate Cake

  • Prep Time: 15 Min
  • Cook Time: 45 Min
  • Yields: 6

Chocolate Cake Ingredients

Doses for a 22 cm (9 inch) non-stick Springform Pan with Removable Bottom

  • 150 g (5,3 oz) of dark chocolate, 70% cocoa
  • 50 g (3 tablespoons) of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 180 g (1 ½ cups ) of “00” flour
  • 200 g (1 cup) of granulated sugar
  • 4 medium eggs at room temperature
  • 200 g (about 2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 16 g (1 tablespoon) of baking powder
  • icing sugar for decoration

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Kitchen Tools and Equipment

No special equipment is needed to prepare the traditional Italian chocolate cake. However, if you do not already have it, get a Balloon Whisk to mix the ingredients.

A small saucepan for melting chocolate in a bain-marie is also useful.

If you don’t want to whip and mix ingredients by hand, check out this Electric Hand Mixer, Beaters and Whisk, with Snap-On Storage Case. Or the fantastic KitchenAid stand mixer.

Mixing powders is also very important. For best results, we recommend sifting the powders through a Fine Mesh Strainer. This way the flour, cocoa and baking powder will mix evenly.

A 22 cm (9 inch) Non-stick Springform Pan with Removable Bottom can be very useful to more conveniently remove the cake once baked.

Finally, we recommend using a cake dome to preserve its fragrance and softness.

Directions

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Step 1) – To prepare the Italian chocolate cake, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Then let it cool.

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Step 2) – Cut the soft butter into small pieces and pour it into the bowl of the mixer (you can also use the whisk if you prefer, hand or electric)

Add the sugar and mix until the butter and sugar are creamy.

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Step 3) – Now add the eggs one at a time. Make sure the egg is completely absorbed before adding the next one.

Continue in this way until the mixture is smooth.

Finally, pour the melted chocolate directly into the bowl and mix well.

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Step 4) – Now in a separate bowl, sift flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix them together.

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Step 5) – Then add them a little at a time to the cream of eggs, sugar, butter and chocolate. You get a creamy, frothy mixture.

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Step 6) – Line a 22-cm (9-inch) round cake pan with baking paper. Pour in the batter and level the surface.

Bake in a preheated ventilated oven at 180°C (356°F) for 40-45 minutes. Time is approximate and may vary depending on your oven. Remember to NEVER open the oven for the first 30 minutes.

To check the baking, test with a toothpick: if inserting it comes out dry, it means the cake is ready. If not, continue baking for a few minutes.

PLEASE NOTE: If you exceed the baking time, the cake will dry out. This applies to any cake baked in the oven, of course. But particularly for chocolate cake, since the soft but moist texture is a typical characteristic of this cake.

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Step 7) – Let the cake cool before removing it from the pan. Sprinkle with icing sugar.

The Italian chocolate Cake is ready! It’s soft, sweet and really choco-licious!

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How to Store Chocolate Cake

The chocolate cake will keep at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. Cover it with plastic wrap so that it does not come in contact with air and retains all its flavor and especially its softness. You can also store it under a cake dome.

If you are in summer with very high temperatures, our advice is to store it in the refrigerator. Take it out half an hour before eating it.

Is it Possible to Freeze Chocolate Cake?

Yes, you can freeze the chocolate cake. Cut the cake into slices and place each slice in a food bag. Seal the bag tightly so that there is as little air inside as possible.

Cakes stored this way can stay in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.

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How to Serve Classic Italian Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake is a recipe that lends itself to many uses and mouth-watering variations.

It’s certainly great served plain, with powdered sugar on top, accompanied by cappuccino, tea or coffee. So it’s perfect for breakfast or a snack.

As dessert it can be embellished with whipped cream or a scoop of gelato.

But the classic chocolate cake can also be used as a base for making more elaborate cakes.

It can be filled, for example, with pastry cream, with chocolate cream, with whipped cream or with jam.

Berry and apricot jam are the flavors that go best with chocolate.

You can also decorate it with fresh fruit – oranges and berries are best – and thus create a fancy chocolate cake for a special occasion.

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Triple Dark Chocolate Cake Variation

For an even more chocolatey variant, dedicated to true chocolate lovers, you can add two tablespoons of dark chocolate chips to the dough.

Also, to bring out the chocolate flavor even more, you can dust with unsweetened cocoa powder instead of powdered sugar.

Can I Use White Chocolate?

If you prefer to use white chocolate for a milder taste, you need to reduce the amount of sugar.

So instead of 200 g (1 cup) of granulated sugar, 100 g (1/2 cup) will be enough. Otherwise you risk making a cake that is too sugary and cloying, because white chocolate is very sweet.

Also replace the unsweetened cocoa powder with the same amount of potato starch.

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You can Use Oil Instead of Butter

If you do not want to use animal fat or want to make the chocolate cake a little less caloric, you can replace the butter with 150 ml (2/3 cup) of vegetable oil, such as Canola oil or Grapeseed oil.

Whip the sugar with the oil and a pinch of vanilla flavor. When the mixture has become frothy, add the eggs one at a time. Then proceed as indicated in the other steps.

How to Make the Best Chocolate Cake: Some Tips 

As simple as it may be, the preparation of chocolate cake must meet certain conditions.

First, there can be no such thing as a dry or excessively clumped cake.

The ultimate chocolate cake must be soft and fluffy, but at the same time terribly moist. The end result depends on both the choice of the right ingredients and the ability of the cook to take small precautions during preparation. 

So let’s look at a few tips.

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How to Melt the Chocolate

In this Italian chocolate cake recipe, chocolate is added melted. The best method to melt chocolate properly is in a double boiler.

We do not recommend melting it directly in a saucepan over an high flame because the risk of burning the chocolate is very high.

Melting in a water bath is the best because it does not require much skill.

You can also use the microwave oven. Place the whole chocolate (without breaking it up) in a deep bowl. Put it in the microwave oven, close the door and set the time to 1 minute and the maximum temperature.

Turn off the microwave and do not open the door for at least 10 minutes.

After this time, the chocolate look untouched. But touching it with a teaspoon reveal that it’s perfectly melted.

Stir until smooth and use it according to the recipe.

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Use the Ingredients at Room Temperature

To make the best chocolate cake you have ever had, ingredients should always be used at room temperature.

Therefore, avoid using ingredients that are too hot (melted chocolate) or too cold (butter, eggs), because the heat shock will not allow the cake to grow properly.

Butter, a Key Ingredient!

Among the ingredients, special attention should be paid to butter.

It’s necessary to whip the butter well with the sugar. In fact, chocolate already has a considerable weight, so the base of the dough must be very light.

By whipping the butter, it will become bulky and fluffy, incorporating as much air as possible and helping the cake stay tall and airy.

Another tip is not to arbitrarily reduce the amount of butter. If you want a lighter chocolate cake, you can opt for a version without butter but with vegetable oil (read the paragraph above).

Fats are essential to obtain the moist texture that is characteristic of chocolate cakes.

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