Super-soft chocolate cake

This chocolate cake – known as ‘Tenerina’ - is a typical dessert of Ferrara, a beautiful, verdant town near the border between Veneto and Emilia Romagna, previously ruled for many years by the illustrious family of Este. This sweet, yummy and unmissable cake is characterized by being absolutely free of yeast, but made soft and tasty by the addition of dark chocolate and a generous helping of butter. Definitely not the lightest cake in the world, but sometimes it's nice to indulge oneself, especially with this cake that leaves little to the imagination and everything on the palate! Try it as part of a luxurious and decadent meal, to finish a romantic dinner, or simply make it to delight your children. You must try this delicious chocolate cake to discover that you do not have to add a leavening agent to get a really good dessert. In a nutshell: an excellent even when you have no self-raising flour or baking powder in the house!


  • dark chocolate 300 grams
  • butter 135 grams
  • sugar 200 grams
  • egg 4 units
  • "00" flour 2 and a half tablespoons of flour
  • powdered sugar
30 minutes Total time
18 minutes Active time
Serves 4 persons
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In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Meanwhile, melt the butter with the chocolate in a bain-marie, or in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. When the melted chocolate is cool, add the beaten egg yolks and mix well. Add flour and mix well. Finally add the egg whites, beaten until stiff. Pour the mixture into a cake tin greased with butter and lightly dusted with flour. Put it into the oven at 200 °C then immediately lower the temperature to 180 °C and cook for 17-18 minutes and no more. Once removed from the oven we recommend letting it cool on a wire rack so that the air can circulate under the cake. When cool cut into squares and sprinkle with icing sugar.

If you like, you can add dried fruit to the cake mixture, as well as cooked chestnuts. In addition, someone from Ferrara might use potato flour instead of wheat flour, making the ‘Tenerina’ even more impressive.
This cake was originally called ‘Queen Cake of Montenegro’. It was ‘invented’, in fact, during the early years of the twentieth century, when King Vittorio Emanuele III married Elena Petrovich, Princess of Montenegro. It was love at first sight, and he wanted to dedicate this cake to his beloved wife: a cake for the soft-hearted that then took on the name ‘Tenerina’ (‘softy’).

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