Chocolate Hazelnut Torte: Preheat your
oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Butter, or spray with a nonstick cooking spray, an 8 x 3 inch (20 x 8 cm) spring form pan. Line
the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
the eggs while they are still
cold, placing the yolks in one bowl and
the whites in another. Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to
come to room temperature before using (this will take about 30 - 60 minutes).
the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 13 to 15 minutes or until
brown and fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool.
Then place the hazelnuts in a food processor, along with
the flour and salt, and process until the hazelnuts are finely ground.
Then, in a
heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate
and butter. Remove from heat and set aside.
In the bowl of
stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg yolks with 1/2
cup (100 grams) of the granulated white sugar until pale and thick (about 3 - 5 minutes). (When you raise
the paddle the mixture will slowly fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.) Beat in the vanilla extract. With
a rubber spatula gently fold, in the chocolate mixture and the
ground hazelnuts. Set aside while you
whip the egg whites.
In a clean bowl, with
the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites and cream of
tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually
remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) of granulated white sugar, beating at high speed until
stiff but not
dry. With a large spatula or whisk,
fold a small amount of the whites into
the chocolate batter to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whites,
in two additions. (Do not over mix
or the batter will deflate.) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth
the top with the back of a spoon or offset spatula. Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center
of the cake has moist crumbs clinging to it. (The
top of the cake will have formed a thin crust with some cracks.)
Cool the torte completely in
the pan that has been placed on a wire rack. The Torte will fall in the center
as it cools, leaving a higher rim of cake around the sides and there will also
be some cracking and crumbs. Once the torte has cooled completely remove from
pan. If desired, serve with softly whipped cream or crème fraiche.
The Torte can be
stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for about three to four days, or it can be frozen for
about two months.
Serves 10 - 12.
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