Skip to main content

Torta Barozzi + Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Amabile #ItalianFWT

This month, Jennifer of Vino Travels is hosting the Italian Food Wine Travel bloggers as we explore Lambrusco. If you are reading this early enough, feel free to jump in on the live Twitter chat - Saturday, June 1st, at 8am Pacific time. Just use the hashtag #ItalianFWT so we can see your comment. This is actually not my official post because I decided to give Lambrusco a more serious look after this. So...this just a precursor to my actual post. It's a great cake with a mediocre wine. Or, at least, it's a wine that didn't appeal to me.

In My Glass

I'll be frank: When I thought of Lambrusco, I pictured a frothy pour somewhere between deep magenta and red. And sweet. Always sweet. So, I was excited dig deeper and take a serious look at this wine. I learned...

That 'Lambrusco' actually refers to an entire family of grapes from, mostly, the Emilia-Romagna region. And, under the Lambrusco umbrella, there are four main varieties that comprise the wines currently made: Lambrusco di Sorbara, Lambrusco Grasparossa, Lambruso Maestri, and Lambrusco Salamino. The descriptions of the grapes and resulting wines was intriguing.

Initially, I got my hands on this bottle - Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Amabile. I researched a bit about the producer. In 1960, inspired by the success of his homemade Lambrusco being served in his restaurant in Modena, Cleto Chiarli founded the first wine-making company in the Emilia-Romagna region.

In 2001 Cleto's great-grandsons Mauro and Anselmo Chiarli, built a new winery and named it after their great-grandfather. I love businesses that continue to be family run, generation after generation. But, unfortunately, I was underwhelmed by this bottle.

It had an intense ruby color with vibrant fruit aromas. I did like the lively froth, but it was still too sweet for my liking. So, I tracked down two other bottles from them: Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco di Castelvetro Vigneto Cialdini 2017 and Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco di Sorbara Vecchia Modena 2018. I'll report back soon.

But, for now, my opinion about Lambrusco didn't really change with this tasting. It was a sweet, drinkable wine that lacked the sophistication or depth that I prefer in my wines.

On My Plate

Since the wine made me think of dessert, I decided to pair it with a cake from the town of Vignola, located just outside Modena in the region of Emilia-Romagna. Research told me it is named for one of the Vignola’s most famous sons, Jacopo Barozzi, a renowned Renaissance architect. The recipe for Torta Barozzi was first created by Eugenio Gollini in 1907 in his pasticceria, Pasticceria Gollini. Though I've never tried it before, I was intrigued by the depth of flavor in this flourless chocolate cake. I started with this recipe.
  • 150 g + 50 g organic caster sugar (this is a superfine granulated sugar, but not powdered)
  • 160 g peanut flour
  • 40 g almond flour
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 200 g softened butter (room temperature)
  • 150 g dark chocolate chunks or chips, at least 61% cacao solids
  • 15 g instant espresso or coffee, dissolved in 2 t hot water
  • 20 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt (I used a large flake salt from Sicily that was similar to Maldon)
  • 1/2 t pure vanilla extract

For Serving
  • organic whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks
  • sliced almonds for garnish
  • Optional: decorator tip and bag

Preheat the oven to 325° F. Prepare a baking pan by buttering it and lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.

Mix the flours with the cocoa and the pinch of salt. Set aside. 

Melt the chocolate chunks in a double boiler until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes, then add the egg yolks. Mix well with a spatula.

In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter with 150g of sugar until lightened and fluffy. Add the mixture of egg yolk-chocolate mixture and combine with a spatula. Pour in the coffee, then fold in the flour-cocoa mixture.

In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Then add the remaining 50 g of sugar. Continue to beat until you get a glossy meringue with stiff peaks.

Slowly incorporate the meringue to the chocolate mixture. Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake for approximately 25 minutes. The cake should be slightly raised and matte. Let the cake cool on a wire rack - in the pan - for at least 10 minutes before unmolding. 

Invert. Remove the parchment paper and invert again onto a serving plate. Let cool completely.

To serve, add dollops of unsweetened whipped cream. I put mine through a decorator bag, but just scooped with a spoon works as well.

The boys thoroughly enjoyed the cake. Jake and I found the wine passable. You will see my thoughts on the Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco di Sorbara Vecchia Modena 2018 for my actual #ItalianFWT post. And next month I will be hosting the #ItalianFWT crew as we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Prosecco Superiore DOCG. Stay tuned for more about that. Cin cin.


  1. I"m glad I didn't order up this bottle but I will have a slice of that cake please.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

Aloo Tiki {Pakistan}

To start off our Pakistani culinary adventure, I started us off with aloo tiki - potato cutlets. I'm always game for tasty street food. I found a couple of different recipes and incorporated those together for this version. Ingredients 6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed 1 T cumin seeds 1 T fresh chopped parsley 1/2 t ground coriander 1 t minced garlic Procedure Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and let cool. Mash the potatoes. Traditionally they are mashed without their skins. I left the skins on. In a small pan, toast the cumin seeds on high heat until the begin to give off an aroma and begin to darken. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to keep them from cooking any more. Blend all of the spices into the mashed potatoes, then shape into small patties. If you wet your hands, the potato mixture won't stick to them. Heat a splash of oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Dip each patty into beaten egg and carefully place in the oil. P

Meyer Lemon Custard-Filled Matcha Turtles #BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our  Pinterest board  right here. Links are also updated after each event on the  Bread Bakers home page .  We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month Stacy of Food Lust People Love  is hosting and she wrote: "Your bread can be large, as in one big animal, or small - animal-shaped rolls. Use your imagination! Points for flavor and shape!" If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to Stacy at Here's the animal-shaped bread basket from the #BreadBakers... Beef and Sweet Onion Dim Sum Pandas from Karen's Kitchen Stories Bird Bread Rolls from Ambrosia Easter Bunny Buns from Cook with Renu Ham and Cheese Elephant Rolls from Food Lust People Love Hedgehog Bread from Making Mir