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Hazelnut Torta

Almonds or walnuts can be substituted in this basic recipe.

ingredients

130 g (4 1/2 oz) caster sugar
4 egg yolks
130 g (4 1/2 oz) toasted hazelnuts, ground
8 g (1 tbsp) toasted breadcrumbs
20 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) dark rum
3 egg whites

method

1. Beat the egg yolks and 100 g (3 1/2 oz) of the sugar until pale and creamy.

2. Whisk in the nuts, breadcrumbs and rum. Whip the egg whites in a separate bowl until they stand in firm, snowy peaks.

3. Beat in the rest of the sugar. Lightly fold the egg snow into the main mixture in three stages, taking care not to stir it and break down the pockets of air.

4. Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 22 cm ( 8 1/2 in) spring-form tin and bake in the preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) Gas 4 for 1 hour until well risen and brown. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to finish cooling.

5. The cake may be dressed up in several ways. Dredge it with icing sugar and offer whipped cream on the side. Glaze it with rum icing decorated with whole caramelized nuts. It can also be divided into three layers and filled with strained apricot jam and a layer of whipped cream, then finished with chocolate icing.

6. A chocolate cream filling is especially good: use half a portion of Basic Buttercream flavoured with 15 g ( 1 tbsp) coffee powder and 15 ml (1 tbsp) coffee liqueur.

7. Chill overnight before cutting. Dredge with icing sugar to serve.

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