I just rediscovered this recipe, which I had written down when in the summer after graduating from high school, I helped out in the kitchen of the hip but long defunct restaurant Gala (named after the wife of Salvador Dali) in Caracas, Venezuela. I am marveling not only about how delicious yet easy the cake is, but also about the neat handwriting of an 18-year-old – this was long before the days of computers. In Spanish it’s called Torta de avellanas con melocotones, and it’s gluten-free. Thanks to advice from merrill and Syronai through Foodpickle I improved the cake by adding glaze to the peaches so they don’t turn brown so quickly. —Green Card Gardener
whole hazelnuts with skins
2 teaspoons sugar
dark chocolate (ideally 80%)
In This Recipe
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 10-inch cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides.
Chop the hazelnuts coarsely in the food processor using the pulse function. Set aside.
Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks with 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over very low heat on the stove. Add it to the egg yolk mix in a slow steady stream and mix well.
Fold in the chopped nuts, then fold in the egg whites. Pour the dough into the prepared pan and even it out with a spatula.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Loosen the sides and unmold upside down onto a cake rack and let cool slightly. Carefully remove the parchment. Let cool completely (up to this point you can make this cake a day or two ahead).
Whip the cream until it stands in stiff peaks adding 2 teapoons sugar and vanilla extract. Place the cake with the flat side up on a cake plate. Evenly spread the whipped cream over the cake.
If the peaches are very ripe you can remove the peel with a small pointy knife. Otherwise, make an "X" on the bottom of each peach and blanch for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the skin.
Cut the peaches into thick even slices. Strain the apricot preserves and warm them over very low heat in a small saucepan. Dip each peach slice in the preserves, then arrange the slices on the cake. Refrigerate until serving.