chocolate hazelnut torte

As soon as I leafed through the Flour and Stone cookbook by Nadine Ingram and saw the chocolate hazelnut torte recipe, I knew it was a cake I'd be making. As it's a flourless cake it's perfect for my gluten free work colleague and would be perfect for Passover as well.

The cake can be made with either almond or hazelnut meal but as I find the flavour of hazelnuts a bit overpowering, I used almond meal. The cake is topped with a dark chocolate ganache and whole roasted hazelnuts and to fancy the cake up a bit, I candied the hazelnuts.

I made the cake on a 42°C day and by the time I decorated the cake most of the toffee coating had melted in the heat. They still tasted great even if they didn't look quite as impressive without their long toffee tails.

Here's the recipe for you with detailed instructions which are almost word for word from the Flour and Stone cookbook. If you follow Nadine's instructions, you won't go wrong.

For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. 

Chocolate hazelnut torte (adapted from Flour and Stone) - makes a 20 cm cake
125g dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa solids) 
100 g roasted hazelnuts (skins removed)
25g hazelnut or almond meal (I used almond meal)
112 unsalted butter, softened
100 g caster sugar
½ tsp finely grated lemon rind
3 eggs, separated
Pinch of salt

Chocolate ganache and topping

75g dark chocolate, (minimum 60% cocoa solids) chopped
50 cream 
30 g toasted hazelnut (skins removed)

For the cake

To roast the hazelnuts, preheat oven to 180°C. Place the hazelnuts on a small oven tray and roast for 10 minutes then place in a clean tea towel and rub until all skins have fallen off. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 20 cm tin with baking paper then set to one side. Prepare the chocolate and hazelnuts by chopping them separately in a food processor. They should be as fine as possible (like powder). Combine them in a small bowl with the hazelnut or almond meal and set aside.

Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, ⅔ of the sugar and the lemon rind on medium speed for about 3 minutes or until pale and fluffy.  While continuing to beat, add the egg yolks one at the time, mixing well between each addition. Now add the finely chopped hazelnut and chocolate and mix on low speed for about a minute until combined. Transfer the mix to a large bowl.

Wash the mixer bowl so it is scrupulously clean for the egg whites and fit the whisk attachment. Add the egg whites to the bowl with a pinch of salt and whisk on medium speed until soft ribbons form. Start adding the remaining sugar gradually and continue adding a little at a time over a 2 minute period whisking until the meringue is thick and glossy. Fold the meringue through the hazelnut mixture one-third at a time until the egg whites are fully incorporated.

Pour the batter in the prepared tin and smooth the surface with a spoon. Bake for one hour (start checking at 45 minutes) or until the centre of the cake bounces back when pressed with your finger. The cake can’t be tested with a skewer because the centre is so molten with chocolate it will give you a false indicator to readiness.

Leave the torte to cool in the tin for a few hours or overnight, then invert the tin to ‘tap’ the cake out and place it right side up on your serving platter. It will most likely sink a little in the middle as it cools. Don’t panic. Just press down the outside edges before spreading the ganache. 

For the ganache

Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl.  Bring the cream to close to boiling point. Just before it reaches boiling point, pour the cream over the chocolate and cover. Allow to stand for a few minutes until the chocolate melts then stir until smooth. The ganache should be thick paste-like consistency. You can refrigerate it at this point to thicken the ganache. Using an offset spatula, spread over the cake. 

To decorate

Scatter the whole full hazelnuts over the top to decorate. I went a bit overboard and candied some of the hazelnuts, a delicious but not necessary step.

The cake was a hit with my workmates. According to Nadine the cake 
is a keeper and will keep for 4-5 days at room temperature as long as its covered, but it didn't last long enough to find out. 

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,




  1. Hi Jillian,
    Lovely to see another Flour & Stone post. I will be making this cake tomorrow, but as always, I have a few questions.
    Your recipe is for a half mixture, which you have baked in a 20 cm pan rather than your usual 7" pan. The doubled quantity in the book is baked in a 22 cm pan. I am wondering why the bigger pan for your half quantity? Won't the cake be rather a thin one?
    My second question is that I really don't want to go to the trouble of roasting and skinning you think I can just substitute with hazelnut or almond meal?
    Thanks again.
    I just love your posts and look forward to Monday to see what treat you have made for your work colleagues.

    1. Hi Angela,

      from my experience a 3 egg cake makes too much batter to fit into a 17cm tin. The cake rose a lot and sank a bit so with the ganache topping it came out just fine.

      If you don't want to roast then grind the hazelnuts, just buy the hazelnut meal and make the cake as is however if you toast the meal in the oven for about 10 minutes it will accentuate the flavour of the nuts. Ottolenghi does that with lots of his recipes. Good luck J


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