Hazelnut torte with chocolate cream filling
Makes 8 to 12 servings
This torte is a great choice to serve for special occasions. It's surprisingly light, making it perfect to serve after a large meal.
For the torte
12 eggs, separated
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups very finely ground peeled hazelnuts (about 10 ounces)
2 tablespoons fine dried bread crumbs
For the filling
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup confectioners sugar
½ cup chocolate-flavored liqueur, such as Crème de Cacao or Godiva, or to taste
To complete the recipe
Fresh strawberries for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease three 9-inch round cake pans.
To make the torte, use an electric mixer to beat the egg yolks at high speed in a small bowl, adding the sugar gradually, until the yolks are lemon-colored. Beat in the vanilla.
Combine the nuts and bread crumbs in a medium bowl.
Beat the egg whites at high speed in a medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Gently fold in the yolks alternately with the ground-nut mixture. Divide the mixture between the prepared pans and spread evenly.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean and the tops are lightly browned. Cool in the pans on racks, then remove from the pans.
To make the filling, use an electric mixer to beat the cream until soft peaks form. Beat in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar, then fold in the liqueur.
Place one cake layer on a plate and spread the top with the filling mixture. Top with the second cake layer and repeat, ending with a topping of the remaining filling. Refrigerate.
Serve wedges of the cake with berries.
Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.