A sliced chocolate tart on a marble surface
Photography, Kathleen Culver

Torta Tenerina Flourless Chocolate Cake

This moist chocolate cake is incredibly easy to make.

What’s a Torta Tenerina, you ask? It’s a moist (hence the Italian word tenira, loosely translated into “tender”, is a chocolate cake, with a tender centre and a thin, crunchy crust. Basically the Italian version of a brownie. Enjoy this guilty pleasure plain, with a dusting of powdered sugar or serve with a dollop of whipped cream or mascarpone.

A sliced chocolate tart on a marble surface

Torta Tenerina

This flourless chocolate cake is essentially the Italian version of a brownie.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12


  • 226 g 70–72% dark chocolate finely chopped
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs at room temperature, separated
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar divided
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch sifted
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • icing sugar optional


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch springform pan; line bottom and sides with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In heatproof bowl set over saucepan of simmering (not boiling) water, melt chocolate. Stir in butter and remove from heat. Let cool slightly.
  • In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg yolks and half of the sugar on low until combined. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until mixture is pale, thick and doubled in volume, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Using a rubber spatula, stir in cooled chocolate mixture until combined, scraping bottom and sides of bowl. Add cornstarch and salt, folding to combine; scrape into large bowl. Wash and dry bowl and whisk attachment of stand mixer.
  • In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low until foamy; gradually add remaining sugar, then increase to medium-high and beat until firm peaks form.
  • Fold one-third of the meringue into chocolate until a few streaks remain. In two stages, gently fold in remaining meringue until no streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pan, and gently level with spatula.
  • Bake until centre of cake is just set and crust has formed on top, about 23 to 28 minutes; centre of cake should still be moist. Let cool completely in pan on rack; the cake will sink and may crack during cooling. Remove collar.
  • To serve, dust icing sugar over cake using a fine sieve.
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