Chocolate and hazelnut torte
One should have an elegant chocolate cake in one's arsenal. This one is spiked with orange liqueur and hazelnuts - a glorious combination.
Equipment and preparation: You'll need a 23cm/9in cake tin.
- 200g/7oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 110g/4oz unsalted butter, diced
- 150g/5oz caster sugar
- 90g/3oz ground hazelnuts
- 60g/2oz self-raising flour
- 3 tbsp orange liqueur
- pinch salt
- freshly whipped cream, to serve
For the chocolate glaze
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Line the base of a 23cm/9in cake tin with baking paper and grease the sides.
Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir gently until the last lumps have disappeared then remove from the heat. Add the butter and stir until completely incorperated.
Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks, placing each into separate bowls. Add the sugar to the egg yolks and whisk with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Carefully fold in the chocolate, ground hazelnuts and the flour. Finally, add the orange liqueur.
Using an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites with the salt until stiff peaks form. Stir a spoonful of the egg white into the chocolate batter until completely incorporated, then fold the remaining egg whites into the batter with a metal spoon.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, until firm to the touch. (It will still be moist in the centre so the usual skewer test won't work.) Cool for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. When cool place on a serving plate.
To make the glaze, melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the bowl doesn't touch the water. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat in the butter bit by bit with a wooden spoon. Add the liqueur, if using. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, until it begins to thicken, but is still runny.
Spread the glaze over the cake and down the sides, using a palette knife. Decorate the top with the whole hazelnuts before the glaze sets. Serve with some freshly whipped cream.
When the cake has cooled you can wrap the it in foil or cling film and keep it for up to three days, before glazing and eating.