Hazelnut torte with chocolate cream filling

Published On: Dec 14 2011 11:29:37 AM EST
Updated On: Dec 02 2009 08:31:34 AM EST

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.

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