Torta Barozzi: a Dark Chocolate Delight

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Torta Barozzi is a traditional Italian cake that originally was made in Vignola, a town in the Emilia-Romagna region. It’s a rich and decadent Italian chocolate cake known for its intense flavor and dense texture.

Torta Barozzi is made mainly with dark chocolate, bitter cocoa and almonds. In addition to sugar, butter and eggs, this cake has two other key ingredients that give it its special flavor: peanuts and coffee grounds.

There is NO FLOUR, so it’s naturally gluten-free, just like the equally delicious and more famous Torta Caprese.

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Aesthetically, Torta Barozzi can resemble a brownie, dark, with a crust on the surface, moist and firm inside, with an enveloping taste that is never too sweet. Of course, you can choose the shape you prefer, but traditionally the Torta Barozzi is rectangular and is served cut into squares.

We can rightly say that Torta Barozzi satisfies all palates, even the most demanding and refined, with its original and unmistakable taste. It’s a genuine delight!

The Authentic Torta Barozzi has been a registered trademark since 1948 and its recipe is a top secret! You can taste the AUTHENTIC TORTA BAROZZI only at the famous Pasticceria Gollini in Vignola, where the cake was born.

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All the versions, more or less similar (including ours), are attempts to recreate the right taste and balance between the ingredients, jealously kept secret. Therefore, we should call the many proposals that we find in pastry shops, bars, restaurants and in every home in the Modena area “Barozzi Style Cakes”.

If you cannot visit the famous Pasticceria Gollini and enjoy the excellent Torta Barozzi, you can still make it at home with our easy recipe! Our version comes close to the taste of the real Torta Barozzi! A must try!

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Torta Barozzi: Ingredients

  • Prep Time: 20 Min
  • Cool Time: 30 Min
  • Servings: 6

  • 250 g (~9 oz) of dark chocolate with 70% Cocoa
  • 30 g (~3 3/4 tablespoons) of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 60 g (~1/2 cup) of blanched almonds
  • 110 g (1 stick) of unsalted butter
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) of granulated sugar
  • 4 medium whole eggs
  • 40 g (~1/3 cup) of skinless unsulted peanuts
  • 20 g (~1 1/2 tablespoons) of coffee grounds
  • a pinch of fine salt
  • Powdered sugar or unsweetened cocoa powder for decoration (optional)

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Kitchen Tools and Equipment

The first kitchen tool you will need to make the Torta Barozzi is a double boiler for melting chocolate and butter.

You will also definitely need an electric mixer to grind the almonds and peanuts.

Then two large bowls, one for whipping the egg whites and the other for the yolks and other ingredients, and a spatula to mix all the dough well.

You will also need an electric whisk to whip both the yolks with sugar and the egg whites well.

A rectangular baking pan about 24×18 cm (9 x 7 inch) and the baking paper to line it.

Barozzi cake, if properly stored, will keep for several days. To preserve its fragrance, you should use an airtight container or a cake dome.


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Step 1) – To make the Torta Barozzi, first toast the almonds and peanuts. Place them in a preheated oven at 200°C (392°F) for 5 minutes. Once toasted, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

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Step 2) – Place the toasted almonds and peanuts in a food processor and pulse until you have a medium to fine flour. Set aside.

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Step 3) – In a double boiler, melt the chopped dark chocolate and butter at room temperature.

Stir occasionally with a spatula. You want a smooth, even cream of chocolate and butter. Set aside.

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Step 4) – Using an electric whisk, beat the sugar with the egg yolks until creamy and fluffy.

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Step 5) – Add the ground almonds and peanuts, cocoa powder and coffee grounds.

Mix well with a spatula. Add the melted chocolate and butter. Mix everything with a spatula until the mixture is thick and smooth.

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Step 6) – Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff.

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Step 7) – Add the beaten egg whites to the chocolate mixture. Add a little at a time, stirring in gentle circular motions from bottom to top so as not to break up the egg whites.

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Step 8) – Line the baking pan with parchment paper. Pour the Barozzi cake mixture into the pan.

Bake in a static oven preheated to 170°C (340°F) for about 30 minutes.

Check that the cake is done by inserting a toothpick in the center. It should come out clean and dry.

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Step 9) – Remove from oven and let cool. Cut into squares and serve.

If you like, you can decorate the Barozzi Cake with almond slivers or a dusting of cocoa powder or icing sugar.

The Torta Barozzi is finally ready – enjoy!

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How to Store Torta Barozzi

Store Barozzi cake in an airtight container or under a glass dome in a cool, dry place. It will keep for about 8 – 10 days. 

Torta Barozzi: a Few Tips for the Best Result

All traditional recipes related to certain areas have many variations and family versions handed down from generation to generation.

This is even more true for the Torta Barozzi, since the real recipe is a secret and you have to experiment to find the right balance of flavors and textures.

Substitutes for Ground Coffee

Regarding the use of coffee, some people say to use coffee grounds, some say to use a small cup of espresso, and some say to use coffee powder. So if you want to substitute coffee grounds, use one of these options.

However, it seems that the preferred choice is to use coffee grounds to get the best result. In fact, the latter has the right consistency and humidity.

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Can I Make Torta Barozzi with Almonds Only?

The addition of peanuts, together with the coffee grounds, is the peculiarity of this cake. It’s its main characteristic. It’s what makes it different from other chocolate cakes. So the answer is NO!

Rather, there is a controversial aspect, which is the amount of almonds and peanuts. Some use more peanuts, others more almonds.

We recommend that you do not overdo the amount of peanuts.

In fact, peanuts have a natural savory flavor that is likely to overpower the other ingredients, even the chocolate.

Stick to a nut ratio of 30-40% peanuts and the rest almonds.

Can I Add a Little Alcohol to the Torta Barozzi Mixture?

It depends on your taste. Many people add a touch of alcohol. If you like, you can add 20 ml (1 1/3 tablespoons) of liqueur to the dough.

The most common liqueurs are rum and grappa. Liqueurs that are too sweet are not indicated.

In fact, one of the characteristics of the Torta Barozzi is that it’s not very sweet and the taste of dark chocolate prevails.

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History and Origin of Torta Barozzi Dessert

In 1886 in Vignola (Modena) there was, and still is, a small pastry shop where Mr. Eugenio Gollini, a talented and creative pastry chef, worked.

The story goes that it was in his artisan workshop that Eugenio began experimenting with new ingredients with one goal in mind: to create a new and unforgettable dessert.

It took patience and hard work, but in the end, Eugenio succeeded. He created an extraordinary brick-shaped cake.

It was soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, with a deep, dark color and a heady cocoa aroma. He had finally found the perfect recipe for his cake, which he initially called Torta Nera (Black Cake).

In 1907, when Vignola celebrated the fourth anniversary of the birth of the famous architect Jacopo Barozzi, Eugenio decided to dedicate his cake to his compatriot.

The recipe of the Torta Barozzi was soon known all over the world and became a symbol of the Emilian cuisine.

In 1948, Eugenio Gollini, the grandson of the pastry chef who created it, registered the recipe as a trademark, which is renewed every 20 years.

For this reason, the authentic recipe is top secret, even though today everyone tries to imitate it.

Precisely because torta barozzi is still a registered trademark, the authentic one can only be eaten at Caffè Pasticceria Gollini in Vignola (Modena).

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2 thoughts on “Torta Barozzi: a Dark Chocolate Delight”

  1. Hi, I have made the Barozzi several times..and guests are so impressed with the taste..can not believe the secret of the peanuts..I have not used coffee grounds thinking it was disturbing cake texture but realize the nuts will combine well with the coffee. Do I use dirt or wet grounds? It is a chocolate treasure. Thanks.

    • Look Janet, we used wet coffee grounds from the pods used to make espresso or from the classic Italian moka, obviously after making coffee. The amount is really small but it gives the cake a special flavor. Give it a try and let us know! Ciao!


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