Chocolate hazelnut cake

Hazelnut torteAs I must have said a few (dozen) times already, November is a special time of year. It is also the most baking-oriented time of year, at least for me. I made this fine chocolate hazelnut cake (torte) to mark the beginning of a very baking-intense November.

The recipe

100g ground blanched hazelnuts
170g flour
1tsp baking powder
80g butter
2tbsp brown sugar
4 eggs

900ml whipping cream
200g dark chocolate
2tbsp cornflour

100g dark chocolate (for the glazing)
40g butter
100g chopped blanched hazelnuts
2tbsp brown sugar
100g white chocolate

Mix the eggs with the brown sugar, pour in the melted butter and then add the dry ingredients.

Hazelnut torte

Pour into a greased 22cm cake tin and bake for about 25-30min on 170C.

As for the filling, it was supposed to work like this – put 200g of grated dark chocolate and 900ml whipping cream in a saucepan, allow the mixture to cool down and then mix it with an electric mixer until it thickens. All this sounds great in theory, but I was sadly not able to make this happen in practice. After the chocolate and cream mixture had cooled down, I mixed it for ages, but it just wouldn’t thicken – even after being mixed incessantly for ten whole minutes, it insisted on staying runny. So I had no choice other than to put the whole thing back on the hob, heat it up and add about 2 spoonfuls of cornflour to make it thicker. Fortunately, that did the job and I was quite happy with the result in the end. You are still welcome to try out the original approach as it really should work – in practice as well as theory.

Once you’ve got your filling sorted by whichever means necessary, you can start assembling the torte. Cut the cake horizontally, cover the bottom half with the filling, put the second layer on top and then cover the entire cake with the rest of the filling:

Hazelnut torte

Now it’s time to make the glazing: melt 100g dark chocolate with 40g butter in a saucepan. Allow it to cool down a bit and then pour it over the top of the cake and spread out evenly with a knife:

Hazelnut torte

Now for the most entertaining part – making caramelized hazelnuts! Put your 100g chopped hazelnuts in a pan with about 2tbsp brown sugar and cook lightly until the sugar starts to melt. As soon as you notice that the hazelnut pieces are covered in melted sugar, take the pan off the hob. Spread out the caramelized hazelnuts on a large flat surface so that they don’t get stuck to one another and let them cool down.

Once the hazelnuts are ready to go, using a knife and spoon attach them all around the side surface of the cake:

Hazelnut torte

It’s best to put the cake in the fridge at this point, so that all the various layers can set. When you decide that the cake is ready to be finished, grate about 100g of white chocolate and sprinkle on top of the cake.

Behold! The finished chocolate and hazelnut torte:

Dark chocolate, white c

hazelnut cake

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About Sonja Kudei

Sonja Kudei is a writer and web developer based in London.

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