Indulgent Chocolate Praline Torte

A confession: this week the FINAP team (ok, just me) have rather overdone it on the pudding eating. We blame the Allergy Show where we discovered new pudding heroes, Glamour Puds. Their individual proper pudding pots have meant that we’ve had pudding every day this week-  eep! This is of course a massive disclaimer ahead of admitting that we haven’t had our usual zest for pudding experimentation, so this week we’re sharing a recipe we made  for Father’s Day. The official FINAP mum tore this naturally gluten free recipe from a magazine many months ago so I’m afraid I can’t find the reference, but here it is, with a few FINAP tweaks.

Lots of tortes are naturally gluten free – using ground nuts instead of flour makes a surprisingly light and simultaneously rich cake. This one wasn’t too sweet, so perfect for afters with a naughty spot of double cream, or a very indulgent afternoon tea. Just make sure the chocolate you use is gluten free.

Photo 16-06-2013 16 14 20

Makes 12 slices (up to you if that will serve 12 people!)

Ingredients

  • 225g dark chocolate
  • 450ml soured cream
  • 350g blanched, roasted hazelnuts
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • A little butter (for greasing cake tins)
  • Chocolate chips, shavings or shapes to decorate (we made our own by piping melted chocolate from a freezer bag with the corner snipped off, and setting in the freezer on greaseproof paper)

Method

  1. Start by preparing the chocolate ganache that will fill  and top the torte. Melt the chocolate gently in a glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
  2. When melted, whisk in the soured cream until thoroughly combined into a  nice smooth mixture. Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge to chill whilst you make the torte.
  3. Preheat the oven tp 180°c. Lightly butter 3 x 20cm cake tins*.
  4. Whizz the hazlenuts in a food processor until they make a fine meal. You are looking for fairly large chunks rather than a floury powder.
  5. Separate the eggs into two large bowls. First, whisk the whites until they form stiff peaks.
  6. In the other bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well-combined (but not for so long that they thicken).
  7. Fold half of the egg whites into the yolk mixture until evenly combined; followed by the second half.
  8. Finally fold in the hazelnuts and baking powder in two batches.
  9. Divide the cake mixture between the tins. Give them a tap on the worktop to bring out any big bubbles.
  10. Bake for about 25 minutes, until firm in the middle and shrinking away from the sides of the tin slightly. Remove to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. When cool, layer the cakes on a plate, spreading ¼ of the ganache between each layer, and the remaining ½ to cover the sides and top.
  12. Finish by decorating with chocolate chips or shapes, and chill until ready to serve.

*If you don’t have 3 tins, use one shallow tin and one slightly deeper tin to make a double-thickness cake using 2/3 of the mixture. Bake for 35 minutes and slice into 2 layers with a bread knife when cool.

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