Torta Nera

Torta Nera

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Dark espresso cake layers filled and iced with a rich, chocolate cream.


  • 8 tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 340g Plain flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1⁄2 tsp Salt
  • 170g Cocoa powder, sifted
  • 230ml Freshly made espresso
  • 240ml Buttermilk
  • 230g Light brown sugar
  • 230g Granulated sugar
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Cream ingredients:
  • 285g Granulated sugar
  • 170g Unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 470ml Single cream
  • 230ml Whole milk
  • 60g Cornflour, sifted
  • 1⁄2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract


  1. To make the Cake: position an oven rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 160°C. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake tins. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the cocoa and cook for about a minute. Off the heat, whisk in the coffee, buttermilk, and both sugars until dissolved. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract, then slowly whisk in flour mixture. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake tins and smooth the tops with a palate knife.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the cake tins halfway through. Cool the cakes in their tins for 15 minutes, then turn-out onto a wire rack. Cool completely before icing.
  5. To make the Chocolate Cream: melt the sugar, chocolate, single cream, milk, cornflour, and salt in a large saucepan over a medium heat, whisking constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, shiny and thickened (about 20 minutes). Off the heat, stir in the vanilla. Transfer the Chocolate Cream to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
  6. Slice each cake into 2 even layers to create 4 separate layers. Crumble one layer and set aside.
  7. Assemble the remaining 3 layers, separated with the Chocolate Cream mixture between each layer. Using a palate knife, cover the whole cake with the remaining Chocolate Cream and sprinkle the cake crumbs from the crumbled layer evenly over top and sides, pressing lightly. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Will keep for 24 hours.

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