Mouth-watering Duchess of Parma Torte Recipe

Are you looking for a luxurious and rich dessert that is sure to steal the show at your next dinner party? Look no further than the Duchess of Parma Torte. This intricate and decadent dessert has a history as grand as its flavor.

Originating from Parma, Italy, the torta duchessa di Parma was named after the beloved duchess of Parma, Maria Luigia. The duchess, who was once a Swedish princess, was known for her refined taste and love of all things luxurious. It is said that this cake was one of her favorites.

The recipe itself is quite involved, but the end result is well worth the effort. Layers of moist hazelnut cake are sandwiched between bittersweet chocolate ganache and buttercream infused with dry marsala and dark rum. The final creation is crowned with a glossy layer of deep chocolate glaze.

This dessert truly embodies the spirit of Italy’s passion for food and decadence. So why not impress your guests with this indulgent treat that harkens back to a bygone era? Join me in recreating the Duchess of Parma Torte – your taste buds will thank you.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Duchess of Parma Torte
Duchess of Parma Torte

Have you ever tasted a slice of cake that left you with an indelible impression on your taste buds? If not, allow me to introduce you to the Duchess of Parma Torte. This delectable dessert is a mouth-watering masterpiece that will captivate your senses and satisfy your sweet cravings.

What makes this torte so unique is the combination of rich ingredients carefully blended together to create a symphony of flavors. The hazelnut flour brings a subtle nutty aroma, while the bittersweet chocolate creates a smooth and velvety texture. The addition of dark rum adds depth and richness to the recipe, elevating its taste profile to an entirely new level.

But what truly sets this dessert apart is the duchess parma ingredient, which is why it’s called the Duchess of Parma Torte. This special ingredient pays homage to Duchessa di Parma, Maria Luigia, who was known for her exquisite taste in food and art. Her love for culinary delights inspired pastry chefs at Pasticceria Provinciali in Parma to create this one-of-a-kind torte recipe.

Not only is this recipe delicious, but it is versatile as well. Whether it’s served at elegant dinner parties or enjoyed as an indulgent personal treat, the Duchess of Parma Torte will never disappoint. So why not spoil yourself and your loved ones with this delicacy today? Trust me; you won’t regret it!

Ingredient List

Sure, here are 11 unique photo captions for the Duchess of Parma Torte recipe:
Sure, here are 11 unique photo captions for the Duchess of Parma Torte recipe:

Here is a comprehensive list of ingredients you will need to make Duchess of Parma Torte. Make sure you have everything listed below before starting the recipe.

For the Cake:

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of strong brewed espresso
  • 4 cups of dark rum
  • 1 ounce of melted unsweetened chocolate

For the Filling:

  • 4 cups light corn syrup
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dark rum

For the Topping:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Flour (as needed)
  • Hazelnuts, chopped (as needed)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

These ingredients come together to create the rich and decadent Duchess of Parma Torte that you won’t be able to resist.

The Recipe How-To

Now that you have your ingredients ready, it’s time to dive into the recipe. Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make a delicious Duchess of Parma Torte.

Step 1: Chocolate Hazelnut Base

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Begin with greasing an 8-inch cake pan with butter and lining the bottom with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan, melt together 1/2 cup of unsalted butter and 3/4 cup of bittersweet chocolate, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a food processor, pulse together 1 cup of hazelnuts and 1 tablespoon of flour until finely ground.

Beat 2 egg yolks in a large bowl and add them to the chocolate mixture along with 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup and the hazelnut mixture. Stir until combined.

In a separate bowl, beat 2 egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add in 3 tablespoons of sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.

Fold half of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture until combined, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until set. Set aside to cool completely before moving onto the next step.

Step 2: Chocolate Rum Filling

Melt together 1/4 cup unsalted butter and 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons dark rum.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together 2 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks, and 1 cup of sugar. Gradually add in the chocolate mixture, whisking constantly.

Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water (make sure it’s not touching the water) and cook while whisking constantly for about 10 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat.

Step 3: Assemble Your Torte

Carefully remove your cooled cake from its baking pan before placing it onto a serving plate, flat side down. Brush with 2 tablespoons dry Marsala or espresso.

Pour your chocolate rum filling over the top of the cake, using an offset spatula to evenly spread out any lumps or bumps on top.

Let your torte chill in your fridge for at least an hour before serving. Before serving you can sift cocoa powder over it or decorate as desired. Slice carefully into wedges, enjoying this decadent dessert that is sure to impress any guest!

Substitutions and Variations

 This torte is fit for royalty - the Duchess of Parma herself!
This torte is fit for royalty – the Duchess of Parma herself!

For those who wish to tweak this recipe a bit or replace a few ingredients with other options, there are some easy substitutions and variations available.

– Chocolate: Instead of using bittersweet chocolate, you can experiment with semi-sweet or milk chocolate to create different levels of sweetness.

– Alcohol: You can replace the dark rum with Marsala wine or any other flavored liqueur to add diverse flavors to the cake.

– Hazelnuts: If you cannot find hazelnuts or have an allergy, you can use almonds or pecans instead as substitutes.

– Flour: For those who are on a gluten-free diet, you can substitute flour with almond flour for an equally delicious cake.

– Light Corn Syrup: Corn syrup can be replaced with honey if needed.

Some variations that can be tried include:

– Espresso torte: Prepare the recipe as stated, but add a shot of espresso to the melted chocolate mixture before folding in the egg whites and baking. This will give your cake a coffee flavor.

– Imperial Maria Louise torte: Use white chocolate instead of bittersweet chocolate for an imperial twist on this classic recipe. It is named after Duchess Maria Louise Archduchess of Austria and is popular in her hometown of Parma, Italy.

– Flourless Chocolate Cake Parma Style: This is a different take on the torte recipe that eliminates the flour and focuses only on the rich chocolatey goodness, creating a dense and moist cake.

– Torta Pastiera: A traditional Easter dessert from Naples, Italy that uses candied fruits and ricotta cheese alongside flour and eggs to produce a creamy and aromatic filling.

By making these substitutions and trying these variations, you can create your own unique version of Duchess of Parma Torte that suits your taste preferences.

Serving and Pairing

 Layers upon layers of airy sponge cake make this torte a showstopper.
Layers upon layers of airy sponge cake make this torte a showstopper.

This elegant Duchess of Parma Torte is a showstopper on any dessert table. Its rich flavor and moist texture make it the perfect ending to a dinner party or special occasion meal.

One delicious accompaniment to this torte is a drizzle of chocolate ganache or whipped cream, which adds a touch of indulgence to an already decadent dessert. Fresh berries or a dollop of raspberry jam would also complement the bittersweet chocolate and hazelnut flavors of the torte.

To elevate this dessert further, serve it with a glass of Marsala or another sweet fortified wine. The nutty notes and intensity of the wine balance the sweetness of the torte and bring out its depth of flavor.

For an extra special treat, try pairing this torte with Zuppa Inglese or Italian trifle. This traditional layered dessert features custard, sponge cake soaked in alcohol (typically rum), and fruit preserves. The combination of creamy custard and boozy cake pairs perfectly with the Duchess of Parma Torte for an unforgettable dessert spread.

Serve this stunning dessert sliced and arrange on a platter for all to adore before cutting into individual portions. Your guests will be wowed by its striking appearance and irresistible taste.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Don't be intimidated by its grandeur - this torte is surprisingly easy to make.
Don’t be intimidated by its grandeur – this torte is surprisingly easy to make.

The Duchess of Parma Torte is a versatile dessert that can be prepared in advance, making it an ideal option for party hosts and busy professionals. You can make the torte up to two days in advance of serving and store it in the refrigerator. Doing so allows the flavors to meld together and results in a more delicious torte.

To store the torte, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before putting it into the refrigerator. This helps preserve the cake’s freshness and prevents any exposure to outside air that might cause contamination.

To reheat the torte before serving, cover it loosely with foil and heat it for 10-15 minutes in an oven preheated to 350°F. Alternatively, you may warm individual slices in a microwave for 20 seconds. But keep in mind that reheating may slightly alter the texture, so try to avoid this step as much as possible.

When making this torte recipe, resist the urge to freeze it as its high butterfat content makes it prone to texture changes when frozen and thawed later. This could result in a clumpy texture or dryness which could impact its taste and aesthetics unfavorably.

Overall, with proper storage and reheating techniques, you can enjoy Duchess of Parma Torte at any time, making it perfect for upcoming parties or a quick indulgent snack.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Perfect for a special occasion or simply treating yourself to something sweet.
Perfect for a special occasion or simply treating yourself to something sweet.

Baking a Duchess of Parma Torte may seem daunting, but with a few tips and tricks, you can create a beautiful and delicious cake that will impress your friends and family. Here are some tips for achieving perfect results:

Firstly, it is important to closely follow the recipe instructions regarding the timing and temperature. Overbaking can result in a dry cake, while underbaking may cause the cake to collapse. Be patient and trust the process.

Secondly, use high-quality ingredients such as bittersweet chocolate and unsalted butter. These ingredients will not only enhance the flavor of your cake but also offer a smoother texture.

Thirdly, when melting chocolate, make sure to melt it slowly to prevent it from burning or seizing up. You can opt for double boiler method or microwave method. If using a microwave, melt chocolate in short intervals and stir frequently.

Fourthly, Toasting hazelnuts before using them in the recipe adds a depth of flavor to the cake. Simply spread them on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350°F until they turn golden brown and become fragrant.

Fifthly, As an alternative option, top your duchess of parma torte with whipped cream or ice cream for indulgent serving options.

Lastly, it is important to let the torte cool completely before removing it from the pan to avoid cracking. Run a knife around the edges of the pan before release. To keep it’s moistness and richness intact tightly wrap into cling wrap and store in fridge.

By following these tips and tricks, you will be able to create an incredible dish that will transport your taste buds right to Parma, Italy!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Duchess of Parma Torte recipe is a masterpiece that combines the rich history of Italian pastries with decadent chocolate and rum flavors. This recipe has been passed down through generations and perfected over time, making it a staple in any dessert lover’s recipe collection.

With ingredients like bittersweet chocolate, dark rum, and hazelnuts, this torte is sure to impress even the most discerning of palates. And don’t be afraid to put your own spin on it with substitutions and variations – the possibilities are endless.

As someone who has tasted this torte firsthand, I can confidently say that you won’t regret trying this recipe for yourself. And with its make-ahead options and storing instructions, you can even save it for a special occasion or enjoy it as an indulgent treat whenever you please.

So why not add a touch of Italian elegance to your next dessert spread with the Duchess of Parma Torte? It’s a recipe that has stood the test of time and will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on anyone lucky enough to try it.

Duchess of Parma Torte

Duchess of Parma Torte Recipe

Courtesey of "The Splendid Table" cook book. DELICIOUS!! but very complex and time consuming. I'm posting the recipe as is but have used some substitutions in the past. I found you will need a few extra egg whites for the meringues. Also i substitute cooking sherry for the Mersala when it's not handy and have used almonds in place of the hazelnuts. The chocolate buttercream can be made up to 5 days ahead and both the meringues and zabaione cream can be made one day in advance. Good luck and good eating!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: < 4 Hours, Dessert
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 1042kcal


For Chocolate Buttercream

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons strong brewed espresso
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

For Meringues

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
  • 4 tablespoons flour, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 7 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For Zabaione Buttercream

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 7 tablespoons dry marsala
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dark rum
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

For Glaze

  • 2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup


  • Chocolate Buttercream:.
  • In an electric mixer bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, coffee and rum.
  • Remove from mixer and wisk by hand over pan of boiling water. Use candy thermometer and stop wisking when it reads between 160 and 165 degrees Farenheit and is a thick custard. Do not immerse the bowl in the water.
  • Place the bowl back on the mixer and beat on a high speed until cool (about 8 to 10 minutes). The mixture should be thickened.
  • Add the melted chocolates
  • Beat in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, scraping sides occasionally. The buttercream should be silken and fluffy. If too soft, refridgerate 20 minutes and beat again to fluff it up. If you are making the buttercream ahead of time, cover and refridgerate.
  • Meringues:.
  • Butter and flour three 9-inch round cake pans. Cut circles of parchment paper and fit them to the pans.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grind nuts and half the sugar and all the flour in a food processor. The nuts should be very fine but not turned to nut butter.
  • Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until peaks are stiff.
  • Fold nuts into meringue, keeping the meringue light.
  • Spread mixture into pans.
  • Bake for 22 minutes or until golden brown.They should be almost hard but still springy.
  • Let meringues cool completley.
  • Run a knife around edges and very carefully remove from pans.
  • Trim any ragged edges.
  • Leave in a cool, dry place until ready to assemble.
  • Zabaione Buttercream:.
  • In an electric mixer, mix egg yolks, marsala, sugar and rum.
  • Remove from mixer and wisk by hand over boiling water until candy thermometer reads between 160 and 165 degrees farenheit. Should be a thick custard.
  • Return to mixer and beat on high for eight to ten minutes or until cool and thick.
  • Add 9 tablespoons of butter one tablespoon at a time and beat until each addition is smooth.
  • Add last 3 tablespoons at once and beat until smooth and thick. If it's not thick enough, chill for 20 minutes and beat again.
  • If made ahead of time, cover and refrigerate.
  • Glaze:.
  • Combine all ingrediends in small bowl and set over boiling water or a double boiler.
  • Stir until smooth.
  • Set aside.
  • Assembling the Torte:.
  • Use paper towls to protect the edges of a flat round cake plate.
  • Dab about a tablespoon of chocolate buttercream in the middle to hold the torte in place.
  • Place one meringue layer in center of plate.
  • Spread chocolate buttercream about 3/4 inch thick, making the it a little thicker around the edges.
  • Set second meringue layer upside down ontop of first.
  • Spread all zabaione buttercream on the meringue, making it a little thicker around the edges.
  • Top with last meringue, again, upside down.
  • Firm the torte in the refridgerator for 30 minutes.
  • Spread thin layer of chocolate buttercream along sides and top of torte.
  • Pipe an undulating border around outer edge of top layer,.
  • Refridgerate at least one hour before glazing.
  • About one hour before serving, spoon glaze over top and spread so it reaches the buttercream border. Avoid refridgerating if possible. It will dim the glazes sheen.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 179g | Calories: 1042kcal | Carbohydrates: 61.8g | Protein: 13.2g | Fat: 83g | Saturated Fat: 39.2g | Cholesterol: 416.6mg | Sodium: 71.6mg | Fiber: 3.5g | Sugar: 52.4g

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