This decadent Austro-Hungarian hazelnut cream torte recipe features a hazelnut sponge cake with almond-whipped cream filling worthy of the most elegant dinner. Best of all, it’s quite simple to pull off.
There is a huge crossover of recipes among Austrian, Hungarian and German cuisines, where this would be known as haselnusscrèmetorte (literally “hazelnut cream cake”) in German and mogyorókrém torta in Hungarian.
Hazelnuts are often referred to as filberts and, while they are related, they grow on trees of different species. Still, if hazelnuts are too expensive or unavailable in your area, filberts can be substituted in this recipe with good results. Read about the importance of hazelnuts in Central European cooking here.
Because the egg used in the filling won’t be cooked, purchase pasteurized eggs or pasteurize eggs in a microwave oven.
- For the Batter:
- 1 1/2 ounces breadcrumbs (fine)
- 1/4 cup/1 ounce all-purpose flour
- 5 large eggs (room temperature and separated)
- 1 1/4 cups/5 1/2 ounces confectioners’ sugar
- 4 ounces hazelnuts (toasted and finely ground)
- For the Nut Cream Filling:
- 2 1/2 ounces almonds
- 1/3 cup/2 1/2 ounces sugar
- 7 tablespoons/3 1/2 ounces unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 3/4 cup/3 1/2 ounces confectioners’ sugar
- 1 large egg (pasteurized; at room temperature; beaten)
- 1 tablespoon dark
Steps to Make It
- Grease and lightly flour an 8-inch round springform cake pan. Toast the hazelnuts, let them cool completely and grind them finely (to a sawdust consistency). Set aside.
- To make the batter: Heat the oven to 375 F/190 C. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs with the flour and set aside. In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Wash the beaters thoroughly.
- In a third medium bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, beating in the remaining confectioners’ sugar. Alternately fold the egg whites, ground hazelnuts, and flour-breadcrumb mixture into the sugar-egg yolk mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan. Once cooled, remove the cake from the pan.
- To make the cream filling: To make the nut cream filling, start by toasting the almonds. When cooled, coarsely chop the toasted nuts and set aside.
- Melt 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring all the while until it caramelizes. Remove the pan from the heat immediately and stir in the nuts. Promptly spread onto a lightly oiled baking sheet or a silicone mat to cool. Once cooled, break into chunks, then pound coarsely (or more finely, depending on your preference) in a mortar. Reserve 4 tablespoons for the topping.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and 1 pasteurized egg until light and fluffy, then stir in the caramelized almonds and the until well incorporated.
- To assemble the torte: Slice the cake in half horizontally and spread two-thirds of the filling between the two layers. Spread the remaining filling over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the top with the reserved caramelized almonds.