Chocolate Cake with Nuts

A specialty of Atti, Bologna’s magnificent bakery and pasta store, this cake has a rich satisfying flavor. The slight bitterness of the walnuts complements the chocolate perfectly.


  • Chocolate Walnut Cake Batter
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 8 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups ground walnuts
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cups and level off)
  • None
  • Chocolate Filling
  • 1 pound semisweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • None
  • Syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • None
  • Walnut halves for decorating


  1. One 10-inch round layer pan 2 inches deep, buttered and the bottom lined with a disk of parchment cut to fit
  2. For the cake, set a rack in the middle level of the oven and
  3. Preheat to 350 degrees.
  4. Cut the chocolate finely and place in a small bowl over hot water to melt, stirring occasionally.  Beat the butter with half the sugar until soft and light, by hand, with a hand mixer set at medium speed, or in a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat in the chocolate, then the yolks, one at a time.  Combine the walnuts and flour and stir in. 
  5. Whip the egg whites until they hold a very soft peak and whip in the remaining sugar in a slow stream.  Whip the whites until they hold a soft peak. 
  6. Stir 1/4 of the whites into the batter, then fold in the rest with a rubber spatula.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake  about 35 to 45 minutes, or until well risen and still a little soft in the very center.  Cool the cake in the pan for a few minutes, then unmold the cake on a rack to cool.
  7. For the syrup, bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Cool and stir in the rum.
  8. For the filling, cut the chocolate finely.  Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan and remove from heat.  Stir in the chocolate and butter; allow to stand about 2 minutes until melted. Whisk smooth, whisk in the rum, and scrape into a bowl and cool at room temperature or refrigerator until set and thickened.
  9. To assemble the cake, trim the top of the cake even if necessary and slice into 2 layers.  Place 1 layer on a cardboard and moisten with syrup.  Beat the chocolate filling with a hand mixer set at medium speed, or in a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle, for about 1 minute, until it is lightened.  Spread a third on the layer.  Top with the other layer and moisten with more syrup.  Use half the remaining filling to cover the top and side of the cake.  Use the remaining filling to pipe a lattice on the top of the cake, a series of vertical lines around the side of the cake and a border around the top of the cake using a  pastry bag fitted with a small, open star tube (Ateco #4). 
  10. Decorate the openings in the lattice with the walnut halves.

This recipe was featured on Season 26 - Episode 2603.

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Linda lake

Where can I get the recipe for this cake … I have searched episodes and do not find it. Thank you

Tamie T

I saw this episode and fell in love!!! Off to get rum…only ingredient I do not have handy!

Dominic G

My 8-year-old saw a rerun of the episode with this cake and fell in love with it 😊 He made sure we kept the episode as he finds the back-and-forth between Mary Ann and Nick very humorous and has fun rewatching it. We have just made the cake for the first time tonight and plan to enjoy it while celebrating his 9th birthday tomorrow. It looks gorgeous and we imagine will taste amazing 😋

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