Torta di Pane al Cioccolato

I’m Baking From . . . . . La Cucina Italiana!

Torta di Pane al Cioccolato | From My Sweet Heart


Today, I am sharing a recipe from one of my favorite cooking magazines, La Cucina Italiana, “since 1929 Italy’s premiere food and cooking magazine”.  While they have an online site, I have subscribed to thisperiodical for the past year.  The recipes are so unique and authentic, and unlike any others I’ve found in various cooking sources.

This torta is no exception!  This cake is the beautiful lovechild of two contrasting and opposing ingredients.  Stale, old, ordinary white bread and exquisite, quality Belgian chocolate!  How can this happen???  While chocolate is the primary flavor here, it doesn’t punch you in the face.  But while most chocolate desserts (like brownies or fudge) have you thinking how chocolatey they taste; this dessert has you thinking…!  That’s really GOOD chocolate! The flavor was so soft and mellow and refined!  This is the first time that I stepped out and upgraded the quality of chocolate I bake with.  For the first time I used . . . . .

Callebaut LOVE IT!!!   Purchased at Whole Foods for $10 per pound, it was well worth the investment.  In fact, I think I am about to become a chocolate snob!  And I’m also sure I’m going to be looking online for other sources of equally good chocolate. 



Torta di Pane al Cioccolato | From My Sweet Heart


It can be said that baking is not always fast, but it’s always easy.  And this recipe is the perfect example of that.  It is the prepping that is really easy, but takes a bit of time here.  My bread was not stale so I let it sit out on the counter for a day.  And then it has to soak in milk for an hour and a half.  It bakes for nearly 2 hours at different temperatures!  But it really is so simple to make.  Here’s what you need . . . . .

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan    
  • 5 tablespoons coarse breadcrumbs (I used the ends of the loaf of bread)
  • 10½ ounces stale white bread (about 8 to 10 slices), cut into small pieces
  • 4¼ cups whole milk
  • 7 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted, plus more for chocolate shavings
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • ⅔ cup almond flour
  • Salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar


Torta di Pane al Cioccolato | From My Sweet Heart


The only place that I strayed from duplicating this recipe is that while the recipe called for you to use a 10 inch springform pan, I used a 9 inch.

Be sure that your bread is stale and let it sit out in advance if necessary.  When you are ready to begin prepping this, cut your bread into small cubes and put them into a large bowl.  Bring your milk to a simmer, pour it over the bread and let it soak for an hour and a half. 

Now, when you are ready to proceed, preheat your oven to 350° F.  Butter the springform pan liberally, and then dust with 2 1/2 Tablespoons of breadcrumbs.  (I just ground the 2 ends of the stale bread into my food processor!)

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until it is very smooth.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together sugar and egg yolks on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add butter and beat to combine. Add bread mixture, chocolate and almond flour; beat until well combined.

In a separate clean bowl, whisk egg whites and a pinch salt to soft peaks; gently fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pan and dust with remaining 2½ tablespoons breadcrumbs. Bake for 1 hour, then reduce oven temperature to 300° and continue baking until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes more.

Transfer cake to rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. Serve sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar and chocolate shavings. (For the chocolate shavings melt 4 oz of chocolate with 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil in a microwave in 20 second spurts, stirring each time.  I poured the chocolate onto a marble tile that I got at my hardware store for a couple of bucks, but I’ve read that the bottom of a cookie sheet works well, too.  Spread the chocolate to an even thinness using an offset spatula.  I put the tile into the freezer for just a minute or two.  And then, starting at the edge, use a spackling knife or a brownie spatula to shave curls of your desired length and width!)


Torta di Pane al Cioccolato | From My Sweet Heart

This cake serves 10 and really has a light, moist, delicate flavor and texture!



original source



  1. Oh man, this looks amazing. Isn’t it fascinating how the quality of your ingredients really determines the dish? Do you guys have Cash and Carry? Randomly, you can find really high quality things, like exceptional chocolate, for less.

    • Thanks Mikaela! I don’t have a Cash and Carry here, though it sounds like I’d wish I did! And yes, using quality ingredients really makes a difference! I LOVE your Green Pea Salad…and I think it’s going to be my new summer side! : )

  2. I have some Callebaut sitting in the pantry with the wrapper still on. It’s screaming to jump into this cake. :)

    • I am in LOVE with this chocolate, Maureen! Looking forward to using it again! And I’m still drooling over Walter’s Beef Stroganoff! : )

  3. How decadent and chocolatey!

  4. It really is one of a kind recipe. So unique to use stale bread in a cake. I love it! The texture looks to-die-for! Gorgeous pictures, Anne! xoxo

  5. This is such a unique recipe my friend – I am falling in love for it no doubt :D

    Choc Chip Uru

    • Thanks Uru! And I’m still thinking about all of your wonderful quick snack recipes! Hope your studies are going well! : )

  6. I can certainly see the benefits here of being a chocolate snob! Love the texture of this and the inclusion of almond flour. This one is definitely a winner-yum!

    • Thanks Tina! Your Persimmon Cakes looks scrumptious! I see you are not allowing comments on your posts anymore and I can certainly appreciate your reasoning for wanting to spend less time blogging. I’m going to try and send you a note through FB. I wish you all the best and I will still continue to follow your wonderful blog! : )

  7. Ajme, što ovo ukusno izgleda :)

  8. Anne, this looks and sounds delicious! But in my home, it would only serve one…. ME hehe

    • Thanks Janet! Like I said…this recipe serves 10 or 1!!! : ) LOVE your carmelized onion and bacon mac & cheese!!! : )

  9. This looks so good! I always try to use the best ingredients I can find and afford! Really does make a difference!

    • Thanks Steph….and it really does make a difference. I love your beautiful chai vanilla cupcakes! : )

  10. This is beautiful! I have not tried using breadcrumbs to bake any cakes or puddings and this one looks very incredibly moist and delicious.

    • Thanks Zoe! And that caramel macadamia nut brownie cake you made for your hubby’s birthday looks outrageously good! : )

  11. this is like a chocolate compressed bread pudding!! Delicious! I’m definitely going to be checking out that callebraut Chocolate. If YOU say it’s worth $10/pound, then it must be worth it. Beautiful torta, and as always – beautifully presented!

    • Thanks MJ! Well worth the cost of the good stuff! Actually, I’m so excited that this turned out so well….I think I need one of your Cucumber cocktails to calm me down! ;- }

  12. Anne- This Torta looks absolutely rich and delicious! I would love to finish any meal with this sweet treat. :) Congratulations on Top 9!! Woohoo! Have a wonderful week~ Ramona :)

    • Thanks Ramona! So glad to be in good company with you and your beautiful Thai Massaman Curry Roast chicken! : )

  13. This is exceptionally beautiful and congrats on Today’s Top 9. I would never guess that this is made from bread crumbs. Your pictures are amazing and you should still be doing the happy dance. I always say I’m going to upgrade my chocolate and then fall back on my grocery store stand-bys. This lovely however is making the case for an upgrade.

    • Thanks Sandra! I used to think I was upgrading when I purchased Ghirardelli instead of Nestles! But when the main ingredient to the cake is wet, stale white bread….I figured I had no excuse but to splurge with the chocolate! And I’m still doing the happy dance over your ‘bluesy’ table setting! : )

  14. I am definitely going to make this someday! looks great

  15. This looks so fabulous and dense and decadent, Anne! I love everything about it. Gorgeous!

    • Thanks Cassie….and GORGEOUS…describes your Milk Bar Layered Birthday Cake! That is truly a work of art! : )

  16. I love this cake:) White stale bread and chocolate -who would have thought. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the great post!

  17. Wow, what a delight! I’m always trying to resist against buying La Cucina Italiana at the local press counter , but don’t succeed in resisting all the time. It has so much to offer! This cake looks incredible and different from most recipes :)

    • Hello Ms.G! I couldn’t resist this great magazine…so I subscribed! But talk about different cake recipes….LOVE LOVE LOVE your ant hill cake! : )

  18. Looks yummy and what a great use for stale bread. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks.

    • Thanks! And your white bean, arugula and tuna salad looks so refreshing and perfect for a summer dinner! : )

  19. Hi Anne,Congrats to you as well,this Yummy and faboulus dessert recipe is deserve on foodbuzz top 9 today,Great post :)

    • Thanks Ridwan! Your spiced basmati rice looks amazing….I can imagine how beautifully fragrant your kitchen was while you made it! : )

  20. So it’s like an Italian bread pudding? So what could be more perfect than that?! Anne, this looks absolutely amazing, and thanks for the heads up on this magazine, which I definitely need to check out.

    • It’s so much lighter than any bread pudding I’ve yet to try! And I hope you will find this magazine as inspiring as I did! I’m inspired to try your lovely vanilla malt gelato! : )

  21. This looks phenomenal, I love to make tarts in a springform pan, so pretty!

    • Thanks Chris! And your apricot cherry freezer jam looks pretty phenomenal, too! Such beautiful, vibrant colors! : )

  22. This tart looks absolutely amazing, Anne! Welcome to the world of chocolate snobbery, population: me. Ever since using Guittard dark chocolate bars and Valrhona cocoa powder, I can never be converted! ;) Hehe.

    • Thanks Georgia! And make that world of chocolate snobbery, population: 2! I will have to give your favorite chocolate a whirl! And I will also have to try your wonderful potato, bacon and cheese frittata! It sounds like a wonderful breakfast potato skin! : )

  23. Che bella torta! This takes us back… we’ll have to make this and sit on the porch reliving our days in Italy. As to the Callebaut, once you go to the good stuff you’re spoiled for life, there’s no going back… but everything you make will be so much better!

    • Thanks guys and Happy Anniversary! Cheryl, that was a brilliantly funny trick Adam played on you! May you have many more years of laughter and delicious strip steaks ahead of you!!! : )

  24. WOW! Viva Italiana Cuisine :). As sweets go, chocolate is my first love and this tort looks positively gorgeous Anne… soft, silky, moist, everything you dream of in a delectable treat. As for Callebaut, I had to smile, my sister (a self-professed chocolate snob), will not touch anything else….! Love the lighting in your photos Anne.

    • Thanks Kelly…and good to know I am in good company with your sister’s love for Callebaut! As for me…I am in love with your lemon thyme artichoke dip! Perfectly refreshing for all of our great summer veggies! : )

  25. Ah! Just love your blog! And this luscious Italian dessert is making me drool. What a rich and beautiful dessert. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Thanks Monet and I LOVE your blog, too! Your coconut almond granola looks so yummy! And your baking is just beautiful! : )

  26. This is just my kind of dessert…sweet, but not overly so…and really good chocolate!!

    • Thanks Wendy! And I’ve really enjoyed your pictures from your trip to beautiful Portland! Look forward to seeing more! : )

  27. I have the stale bread from a party and the Callebaut chocolate, so I might as well get on with the baking! Great recipe

  28. Oh how I wish I was your neighbor, so I could stop by and enjoy this with you!

  29. That looks so delectable….I need a piece with my coffee right now.

    I love baking with Callebaut chocolate. It gives desserts such a rich flavor.

  30. This cake is texturally superb. Your food photography showcases it wondrously and creates immense appeal. Brava!

  31. OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS!!! Anne, this looks INCREDIBLE!!!

  32. Francesca says:

    I am from Italy and my grandmother used to bake this cake for me and now I bake it for my children. It’s my favorite!

    • Francesca says:

      i forgot, my grandmother and I also add some orange zest.

      • Anne Boeckl says:

        Francesca….I also LOVE the combination of orange and chocolate…so I will be sure to take your great suggestion and add some orange zest when I make this next! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says:

      Hi Francesca and thanks so much for stopping to comment. It is not my heritage, but I love authentic Italian baking. You are so lucky to have the memory of your grandmother baking for you. Unfortunately, my history of baking begins with me! (I bet your grandmother’s version was awesome!) : )

      • Francesca says:

        thanks, last night a baked a torta di pane and also added some orange zest, about 10 amaretti and pine nuts, try this version, it’s the Tuscan version!

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