Vistorta Chocolate Cake

  • Serves

    serves 6-8

While visiting the famed Brandolini family at their Vistorta wine estate in Friuli, they served us this dense cake—a family recipe.

To make this cake gluten-free:
Replace the flour with unsweetened cocoa powder for preparing the pan.


  • 13 tbsp. softened butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 34 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 14 cups finely ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp. brandy
  • 2 pinches salt
  • Confectioners' sugar


Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°. Butter an 11" springform pan with 1 tbsp. of the butter, line bottom with parchment paper; butter paper, then dust bottom and sides with flour. Melt chocolate in top of double boiler set above simmering water over medium heat. Set aside to cool.

Step 2

Put remaining 12 tbsp. butter in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating for 2-3 minutes. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well between each addition, then add chocolate, beating just enough to blend it in. Stir in almonds and brandy, then set aside.

Step 3

Put egg whites and salt in a large clean bowl and beat with an electric mixer until they form medium-stiff peaks. Add a third of the whites to the chocolate mixture and fold in with a rubber spatula, then carefully fold in remaining whites in two batches, taking care not to deflate the batter. Pour into prepared pan.

Step 4

Put pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350°, and continue baking until a skewer stuck into center of cake comes out clean, 30-40 minutes. Remove cake from oven and set aside to cool. Unmold, peel off parchment, and place, right side up, on a cake plate. Dust liberally with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

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