We have been well due for a nice, sweet treat:) I saw this lovely torte at the Good Housekeeping magazine; the original recipe used ground hazelnuts in the torte, my version has ground almonds – just because we love it- . It turned out to be a wonderful, moist torte that we enjoyed at the end of a meal with friends. The ground almonds make the torte really moist and torte stays moist for good 3-4 days, if there is any left!
Vanilla ice cream or double cream goes very well by the side.
75gr (3oz) unsalted butter, cut in cubes, plus extra to grease
100gr (3 1/2oz) ground almonds
Handful of whole hazelnuts, blanched to decorate
75gr (3oz) caster sugar
125gr (4oz) good quality plain chocolate, broken into pieces
10ml/ 2 teaspoons rum, optional
3 medium eggs, separated
75gr (3oz) prunes, chopped
Icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Mark 4
Grease and line a 20.5cm (8in) round tin with baking parchment. Mix the ground almonds with 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar. Set aside.
Next, put the chocolate, butter and rum (if using) into a small pan and melt gently over low heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
Put the egg yolks and the remaining caster sugar into a large bowl and the egg whites into a separate large bowl. Using a handheld electric whisk beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Next, beat together the yolks and sugar mixture until thick and moussey, about 3 minutes.
Using a large metal spoon, fold the chocolate mixture into the yolk bowl, followed by the ground almonds mixture. Stir a spoonful of whites into the chocolate mixture, and then carefully fold in the rest. Empty mixture into the prepared tin, level the surface, then sprinkle over prunes and the whole hazelnuts.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake is risen and feels springy to the touch. Take out of the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin. Take out of the tin, peel off the paper and transfer to a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar and serve in slices with cream or ice cream, if you like.