The preparation of the Parmesan dessert par excellence, that bears the name of the Duchess Maria Luigia the most beloved duchess of Parma, is a few long and laborious. The history of the Duchess Cake is unclear, especially there is no telling about why the dessert is named after Maria Luigia: it is said that it was called like this because it was created by a court pastry chef in honor of the Duchess but there are those who claim that it’s because it was the dessert favored by Maria Luigia or even that it was later titled to combine sweetness of dessert with that of the beloved Duchess. It is a rich and slightly alcoholic dessert, suitable as a fine meal of great events, has a tasty and elegant appearance and is present in all the best pastries that offer typical and traditional pastries, often also in mignon version.

100 gr of hazelnut flour
100 gr of butter
320 gr of sugar
150 gr of flour 00
1 q.b of grated lemon peel
275 gr of dark chocolate
300 gr cream
200 ml of milk
140 gr of yolk
1 q.b vanilla bacon
100 ml of marsala
50 ml of zibibbo
1 q.b of candied cherries


For hazelnut dough disks:

Mix together hazelnut flour, 100 grams of sugar, butter, 100 grams of flour, lemon peel. Mix everything and make a very hard pasta. If it is too hard, add an egg to soften it. Cool in the fridge. Once pulled out of the fridge, stretch it with the rolling pin. With the help of an overturning baking pan make three identical disks. Bake for 30 minutes at 160/170 degrees. Then let it cool down.

For the custard:

Heat the milk with 50 grams of cream and vanilla berry. Aside from mounting 50 grams of yolks with 100 grams of sugar and 20 grams of flour until they are frizzed. When the milk boils add to the cream and stir 1 minute.

For chocolate ganache:

Bring 250 grams of cream to boil, turn off the fire and melt the chocolate. At this point, combine 200 grams of the custard to get the cream for filling.

For the zabaione:

Boil the marsala with the zibibbo. Aside, whip the remaining yolks with 120 grams of sugar and 30 grams of flour to obtain a soft cream. Throw the cream in the marsala, and when it boils off the fire and let it cool.

Composition of the cake:

Take a hazelnut dough disk, put it in a flat dish and spread a layer of cream. Place the second disc and with the sac-à-poche make a circle in the circumference of the disc: it must act as a containment bar of the zabaione if it is a few dense. Fill the center with the zabaione. Cover with the third disc, then spread the chocolate cream on the edges of the three disks by filling the cracks and passing the hazelnut grain on the edge of the cake. Make chocolate cream tufts over the first disc. Cover with velvety sugar. Place a candied cherry on each cream tufts. Keep it in the fridge and pull it out at least 1 hour before you taste it.