Chocolate Hazelnut Torta
Chocolate and hazelnut is one of those perfect flavour pairings that was just meant to be. This simple little flourless cake, celebrating this magnificent marriage of ingredients, is moist and rich but not too much so. Keep it light and simple or add a spoonful of sleek, dark chocolate ganache for extra decadence.
½ cup hot water 50g good-quality cocoa powder (eg Valrhona), plus extra for dusting 3 eggs ½ teaspoon vanilla paste 200g raw sugar ½ cup olive oil or vegetable oil 160g hazelnuts, ground to a fine meal ½ teaspoon baking soda Pinch of salt GANACHE (OPTIONAL): 300ml cream 300g good-quality dark chocolate 50ml Frangelico liqueur (optional)
Heat oven to 170°C. Grease and line the base of a 22cm springform cake tin. Stir hot water and cocoa together to make a smooth paste.
In the bowl of a free-standing mixer, place eggs, vanilla paste, sugar and olive oil. Beat until pale and thickened.
Mix in cooled cocoa mixture. Add ground hazelnuts, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.
Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake around 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Leave torta in tin until almost cool before turning out to serve. Lightly dust with cocoa powder and pour over ganache if using. Serve slices with a little mascarpone or clotted cream.
Ganache: Heat cream to almost boiling. Add chocolate, broken into pieces, and let it sit for a couple of minutes then stir until melted and mixture is smooth.
Allow ganache to cool – it will thicken as it cools –then stir in liqueur if using. Pour over cake while slightly warm.