Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut, & Marzipan Torte
I was looking for something special for Arthur's birthday and came across this torte that appeals to our shared love of hazelnuts, chocolate, marzipan, and rum. The perfect dessert! However, since the original recipe was by a London-based baker, the measurements and some of the ingredients required interpreting. Rest assured that I've done that for you! If you're curious, here is the original post.
The cake was moist, spicy, nutty, chocolatey and included a layer of marzipan, which isn't that common in US desserts! Note that I could only find the marzipan at a specialty Armenian grocery down the street. If you have to (or want to) make the marzipan yourself, you can use almond paste or almond meal/flour. You can also make decorations out of it with the addition of some food coloring, as shown on the box.
-Bake at 300°F for 50 min.
-Active time about 30 min. (15 min. to mix torte/15 min. for marzipan/ganache)
-15 min. or so to allow the ganache spread on marzipan to set
First off, you can make most of the torte using a food processor. Add the cup of hazelnuts first and grind them. Then add the chocolate, cinnamon, flour, and baking powder. Pulse until the mixture has a sand-like texture, (but it will work just fine it you mix it a bit too long like I did).
Turn the hazelnut and chocolate mixture into a bowl. In the food processor, you can then beat the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. (I didn't realize until after I'd started using a bowl that the food processor would have made this a lot easier.)
Separate three eggs, making sure not to let any yolk mix in with the white. Add the yolks to the butter and sugar mixture. Then fold in the hazelnut and chocolate mixture.
You will need to beat the egg whites and sugar in a separate bowl. I did this by hand but using an electric beater would be easier. Beat until stiff peaks form. Then fold the egg whites into the hazelnut and chocolate mixture, one third at a time.
Spread the batter into a greased and lined 8" springform pan. My pan is fairly nonstick, and while I gave it a light greasing with the butter wrapper, it probably could have used a bit more. Lining the bottom with parchment paper wouldn't be a bad idea.
Bake at 300°F for 50 minutes or until it has risen and starts to pull back from the edges. Let cool at least 10 minutes before removing from the springform pan.
Roll out the marizipan on a surface sprinkled with powdered sugar. Roll it just slightly larger than the circle of the springform pan. If you want to decorate it with marzipan, you can roll it a little larger/thinner and use some of the scraps for marzipan decorations.
To make the ganache, heat the cream just short of boiling. I microwaved it in the small ceramic cup shown above for 30 seconds. I then added the chocolate I already had chopped and ready-to-go in small pieces. Whether you add the chocolate to the cream, or pour the cream over the chocolate, stir the mixture until the chocolate melts. Reserve about 2 Tbsp. to use for topping the cake (so the marzipan sticks) and spread the rest over the marzipan as evenly as possible and in roughly the size and shape of the cake, as shown above. Then place the chocolate-coated marzipan in the refrigerator to set. Once set, use the springform to cut a 8" circle from the marzipan.
Turn the cake out onto a serving plate. If the reserved ganache has solidified, warm it up. Spread the reserved ganache on the top of the cake. On top of this, place the marzipan circle with the chocolate side up. Press down slightly so the marzipan layer affixes.
Top with raspberries, seasonal flowers, or marzipan decorations of your choice! Then cut, and enjoy!
-1 cup whole hazelnuts
-3oz. dark chocolate, chopped
-1/4 cup all purpose flour
-1/4 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-1 cup salted butter (room temp)
-3 medium eggs, separated
-2 Tbsp. dark rum
-1/4 cup powdered sugar
-7 oz. marzipan (powdered sugar to roll it out in)
Chocolate Ganache Ingredients
-4.5 oz semi-sweet chocolate (or darker/less sweet, depending on taste)
-1/4 cup whipping cream