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Damiano Carrara's Tuscan classic Torta Della Nonna

Damiano Carrara is making his This Morning debut, but is well-known in Italy for being a judge on Bake Off Italia, owning two patisseries in his hometown of Lucca as well as publishing two cookbooks.

He’s in the kitchen making a Tuscan classic Torta Della Nonna known as ‘Grandmother’s Cake’ whipping up a combination of sweet almond pastry, pine nut frangipane and custard.

Torta della Nonna (Grandmother’s Cake)

Makes 1 x 17cm round cake


For the whipped almond shortcrust pastry (makes 1 tart):110g butter, room temperature88g brown sugar3g lemon zest 2g salt45g eggs55g almond flour53g rice flour35g cornstarch1g baking powder4g rum4g lemon liqueur 

For the vanilla custard:Finely grated zest of ½ a lemon120g sugarSeeds of 1 vanilla pod300g milk200g cream80g egg yolk25g cornstarch20g rice starch 

For the pine nut frangipane:28g butter, room temperature1g finely grated lemon zestLarge pinch salt28g brown sugar28g beaten egg​​42g almond flour224g cold custard (from above)8g lemon liqueur16g pine nut paste

To decorate:Icing sugar, for dustingPine nuts


1. To make the shortcrust pastry, whip the butter with the brown sugar, zest and salt, then incorporate the eggs a little at a time. 

2. In another bowl, mix together the almond flour, rice flour, cornstarch and baking powder. 

3. Add the flours to the butter mixture, combine, and then mix in the rum and lemon liqueur. Scoop the mix into a piping bag and set aside for later. 

4. To make the vanilla custard, add the lemon peel to a blender with the sugar and vanilla bean seeds and blitz. 

5. In a small pan, bring the milk and cream to the boil. In a bowl, mix the egg yolk with the sugar-lemon powder, then add the cornstarch and rice starch. Once the milk and cream comes to the boil, pour it into the bowl with the yolk mixture, whisking all the time. Return the custard to the pan then place on the heat and bring back to the boil, stirring all the time again. Pour into a clean bowl and cover with cling film touching the custard. Chill until needed. 

6. To make the pine nut frangipane, whisk together the butter, lemon zest, salt and brown sugar. Add the eggs then flour alternately, a little at a time. 

7. Mix the custard with the liqueur then add to the mixture with the pine nut paste. Transfer to a piping bag and set aside.  

8. Preheat the oven to 160C fan. 

9. To construct the cake, grease a 17cm round cooking ring. Pipe a thin layer of the whipped shortcrust pastry to cover the base of the tin and make a circle/hole in the centre of the layer. Spoon the frangipane into this hole, then pipe over the remaining pastry to cover. Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes. 

10. Once the cake has cooled, cover the top of the cake with custard. Sprinkle over some pine nuts and dust with icing sugar.

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Weekdays 10am-12:30pm