To toast nuts:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake about 15 minutes or until nuts are
brown and fragrant and the skins start to peel. Remove from oven and place
clean dish towel over nuts. Let them 'steam' for about five minutes and then rub
the nuts to remove the skins. Let cool then
place in a food processor, along with the flour and salt, and process until
To make Torte: Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line the bottom of an 8 x 3 inch (20
x 7.5 cm) round cake pan or springform pan with parchment paper.
the eggs while they are still
cold, placing the yolks in one bowl and
the whites in another. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and allow to
come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes). Meanwhile,
in a heatproof bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and
butter. Remove from heat
and set aside.
In the bowl of
mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the egg yolks with 1/2
cup (100 grams) sugar until pale and thick (about 3 - 5 minutes). (When you raise
the beaters the mixture will slowly fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.) Beat in the vanilla extract. With
a rubber spatula gently
fold in the warm chocolate mixture and the nut and flour
mixture. Set aside while you
whip the egg whites.
In a clean bowl, with
the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, at medium speed, until foamy and then
cream of tartar. Continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually
remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar, beating at high speed until
egg whites are stiff but not
dry. With a large spatula or whisk,
fold a small amount of the whites into
the chocolate batter to lighten it. Quickly
fold in the remaining whites. Do not over mix
or the batter will deflate. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth
the top. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center
of the cake shows moist crumbs.
Cool the torte completely in
the pan on a wire rack. It will rise and then fall in the center, leaving a
higher rim of cake around the sides and there will also be some cracking and
the torte has cooled completely remove from pan. Serve with softly whipped
Note: Can cover the torte with
ganache if desired (recipe here).
Serves 10 - 12.