Chocolate Hazelnut Torte Recipe
This Chocolate Hazelnut Torte recipe makes a delightful special occasion cake with a nutty and light chocolate flavor and fresh whipped cream.
Some people collect bugs or rocks or guitars. Me? I like old cookbooks. It’s not just about the recipes, but the history behind them and those who wrote them. Which brings us to the cookbook of the hour (followed by the recipe of the hour), The Fannie Farmer Baking Book by Marion Cunningham.
Marion Cunningham was a renowned, award-winning food writer. In addition to The Fannie Farmer Baking Book, Marion was best known for revising and updating the classic Fannie Farmer Cookbook . She went on to author a few more successful cookbooks.
What I find intriguing, (as I’m just shy of 50 myself) is that she didn’t start a career with food until after taking a cooking class from James Beard (yeah, that James Beard) when she was about 50 years old. Up until that point Marion had spent most of her time as a homemaker and mother. After the cooking class, she began working with Beard as an assistant. James Beard actually recommended her for the job of rewriting the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. What’s that saying … “it’s never too late to be something you might have been,” or something like that. A mantra for life. Right on, Marion.
Which brings us to the aforementioned recipe of the hour: Chocolate Hazelnut Torte. Marion you done good. This amazing Chocolate Hazelnut Torte (different than a cake I might add) is perfect for special occasions. Even though you will want to dig right in, it sure is a beautiful centerpiece.
Now, let’s get a little technical. A torte is usually multilayered and filled with something light, like whipped cream, mouse or buttercream. The main difference between a torte and a cake is that a torte isn’t traditionally made with flour, but with ground nuts (like hazelnuts) or bread crumbs. This particular torte is made with hazelnuts and bread crumbs, creating a nutty dense cake base, which is the perfect partner for the light fluffy whipped filling.
Doesn’t it just sound delicious?!? Yes, this Chocolate Hazelnut Torte is all kinds of hazelnutty goodness. Find the recipe below. Enjoy!
Chocolate Hazelnut Torte Recipe
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate broken into small pieces
- 12 egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups finely ground hazelnuts/filberts (about 1/2 pound)
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 8 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 325-degrees F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with baking parchment, then grease and flour top of baking parchment and sides of pan.
- Melt semisweet chocolate using a water bath (or slowly melt in microwave); stirring until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and pale, about 1 minute. Continue beating while gradually sprinkling in 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar; beat about 1 more minute until mixture thickens and ribbons form when mixture is lifted and dropped across top.
- Continue to stir and stream in melted chocolate, ground nuts, and bread crumbs.
- Separately, in a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until they begin to foam. Beat in salt, vanilla extract and remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Beat until stiff but moist.
- Fold in 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate/nut mixture. Add chocolate/nut mixture to the remaining egg whites; gently fold together until blended and no streaks remain.
- Gently spread evenly between the two prepared 9-inch round baking pans. Bake at 325-degrees F until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or, per Marion Cunningham, “there’s barely a trace of moist batter—better to undertake slightly than overbake.” Takes about 25 minutes of baking time.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes. Carefully turn cakes out onto cooling racks to finish cooling.
- While cakes are cooling, whip heavy cream with confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy.
- Once cakes have cooled completely, assemble layers with sweetened whipped cream between layers and on top. Optional garnish: grated chocolate and/or hazelnuts.
- Keep lightly covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.
Recipe from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book by Marion Cunningham.