Today’s recipe is thanks to the gorgeous Domenica Marchetti, author of Rustic Italian. She’s written a cookbook with foods that will make your family happy, as well as simple enough to make on any weekday night. And the desserts? Simple, frsh ingredients that create sweet treats, making the end of any meal perfect. She shares with us that most Italian desserts eaten at home consist of fresh and seasonal fruit; simple techniques are applied and created are delicious sorbets, crostate and warmed fruit drizzled with honey! Make this Lemon and Chocolate Olive Oil cake and serve with espresso or your daily cup of tea; the dense and moist cake, paired with the citrusy scent makes for a delicious Italian treat.


Torta al Limone e Cioccolata (Lemon-Chocolate Olive Oil Cake)

Reprinted with permission from Rustic Italian © 2011 by Domenica Marchetti, Williams Sonoma, an imprint of Weldon Owen.

4 oz (125 g) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups (10 oz/315 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (I used vanilla salt)
1 cup (8 oz/250g) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (6 oz/185 g) full-fat Greek yogurt
Finely grated zest off 1 lemon, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 (6 fl oz/180 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing (I used California Olive Ranch Oil)
Confectioners sugar for dusting

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C)
  2. Put the chocolate in the top of a double boiler and set over (but not touching) barely simmering water. Heat, stirring, until the chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. 
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat together the granulated sugar and eggs until pale in color. Beat in the vanilla. Add half of the flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Beat in the yogurt and lemon juice, and then the remaining flour mixture. With the motor running, beat in the olive oil just until smooth.
  4. Scoop about one-third of the batter into a clean bowl and gently fold in the chocolate. Stir the lemon zest into the rest of the batter. 
  5. Lightly oil a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Fillthe pan with alternating spoonfuls of the lemon and chocolate batters. Swirl a large, thin bladed knife in an S pattern through the batters to create the marbled effect. Bake until the cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Carefully invert the cake onto the rack, then  place upright on a cutting board. Cut the cake into thick slices and arrange, slightly overlapping, on a platter. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.

What’s your favorite Italian dessert?

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  1. what a beautiful rustic italian delight! seriously, u blogging so much, i can’t keep up with u…!

  2. Omigosh. Not only does the name roll of the tongue nicely, this torta is some serious eye candy. Looks and sounds gorgeous. Need this cookbook!

  3. That sounds like a great cookbook and the cake looks so good! I don’t know what my favorite Italian dessert is…there’s so many great choices. Hmm…maybe cannoli?