Hazelnut Torte with Mascarpone Icing
Good morning. Hazelnuts are one of my favourite nuts when baking- they add such a beautiful taste to a sponge cake. Traditionally a torte requires little to no flour using hazelnut meal as a replacement. If I have to make a gluten free cake then it usually consists of hazelnut or almond meal. I wanted to keep this quite light in texture so my version uses half flour, half hazelnut meal. My aim was to create a cake that tasted great but could also be decorated in a beautiful way.
This would be great as an ‘occasion’ cake – your family and friends will definitely remember the multi layers and the beautiful fruits on top. I’ve used blueberries, figs and grapes but you could do raspberries or strawberries instead. Or if you don’t fancy fruit then shaved chocolate would also work a treat. Also if you prefer the icing can cover the sides fully but naked cakes are all the rage at the moment and I for one love the rustic feel that goes with it. Go on, get creative in the decorating…this is the fun part!
For The Cake:
1 Cup plain flour
1 Cup hazelnut meal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 Cup unsalted butter, softened
1 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 Cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts (optional)
250g mascarpone cheese
1/3 Cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/3 Cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 Cup heavy cream
Extra chopped hazelnuts
Mixed fruits- blueberries, grapes, figs
Flowers (as decoration only- not to be eaten)
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together flour, hazelnut meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and then put to one side.
3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then mix in vanilla extract.
5. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour in three portions, alternating with two portions of sour cream. Mix until a few streaks of flour remain. Stir in chopped hazelnuts if you would like a bit of crunch throughout the sponge (this is optional).
6. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Smooth batter evenly in pans.
7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cakes are lightly browned and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
8. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then, run a knife around the edges to loosen the cakes. Transfer cakes from pans to a wire rack to cool completely.
9. Whip mascarpone and powdered sugar until creamy.
10. Add heavy cream and whip to desired consistency.
11. Take 1/3 of the mascarpone icing and put into a separate bowl, whip cocoa powder into it- this will form the middle layer in the cake.The remaining ‘plain’ mascarpone icing will form the top and sides of your cake.
12. Once the cake has cooled completely place one cake on a plate or cake stand. Spread the chocolate mascarpone filling on top ensuring it is smooth and level.
13. Place the second cake on top and spread the plain mascarpone icing on the top and around the side as thickly or thinly as you like.
14. Now the really fun bit- decorating the the cake. I added the chopped hazelnuts in a moon shape on one side. Then layered the mixed fruits and flowers.
Hazelnut Tort with Mascarpone Icing