5 Ingredients or Fewer

Roasted Hazelnut Torte

December 18, 2013
2 Ratings
  • Serves 8 to 10
Author Notes

It's always the wafting aromas that transport me. My mother, from Manchester, and my father, from Berlin, met after World War II in England. That's where we grew up, surrounded by love and culinary madness: everything from tripe to trifle (from Mummy's side) to carp with beer and this special occasion hazelnut torte (from Papa's side). We children just thought it was normal! I think my mother tried very hard to accommodate my demanding father; like with this recipe, so simple yet so delicious in it's simplicity. I believe it was from our German grandmother. We always asked for it on birthdays. —JaneMiami

Test Kitchen Notes

As the author noted, this cake's aroma is beguiling. Its simplicity called to me as well, as recipes with multiple ingredients competing for attention too often prevent full appreciation of each flavor. While combinations can be magical, here, the solo hazelnuts are delightful, and the sweetness is just enough. My husband tasted it before it cooled completely, repeated how it was perfect, and went to get another piece. It is, indeed, difficult to resist another piece...and another. —Marcia Coakley

What You'll Need
  • 8 ounces hazelnuts
  • 8 ounces superfine sugar
  • 5 to 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line the base of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Roast hazelnuts in oven on a large baking tray, until skins are cracked & they are quite golden and fragrant. Be careful not to walk away as they burn very easily. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F
  2. Toast your hazelnuts, then put them directly into a dry, large dishcloth. Rub them together to remove & discard the majority of the skins. Don't worry if there are some skins left on the nuts; it enhances their flavor! Let the hazelnuts cool completely.
  3. Chop the cooled hazelnuts finely in your food processor, and then set aside. (I find that it is easier to do this 4 ounces at a time, so that you have more control over the grind.)
  4. Whisk the sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla together until frothy and light, and the sugar is dissolved. I start with 5 egg yolks then add another if it seems too heavy. Add the finely chopped hazelnuts.
  5. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the nut mixture. Place into a prepared springform pan
  6. Bake at 425° F for the first 10 minutes, then lower the oven to 375° F and continue baking for another 30 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Let the cake cool in the springform pan for at least 15 minutes, then remove the collar by a running knife inside it. When completely cool sift powdered sugar over the top; I use a vanilla-scented sugar. Devour slowly!
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Chris Van Houten
    Chris Van Houten
  • aeisenhowerturnbull
  • vrunka
  • JaneMiami

6 Reviews

Chris V. January 23, 2014
Thanks so much for sharing! The torte turned out airy, moist, and packed with hazelnut flavor. I really wasn't sure what to expect with a cake that doesn't call for butter or flour but was very pleasantly surprised. It didn't taste like a "gluten free" cake at all, but I can serve it to all of my friends with sensitivities. First off I tried with mascarpone and blackberries, then served the next day with a homemade blood orange ice cream and a bit of chocolate drizzle. Both ways were excellent- I definitely feel like this humble, simple cake calls for a little bit of adornment.
JaneMiami January 23, 2014
I'm so thrilled that people are enjoying this recipe. Chris, the two accompaniments sound absolutely delicious!
aeisenhowerturnbull January 10, 2014
what a lovely, simple recipe. Thanks for sharing!
JaneMiami January 11, 2014
Thanks aeisenhower. That's what I found so perfect: the simplicity! Yet it turns out so fragrantly enticing!
vrunka December 19, 2013
this sounds simply amazing. I know what my contribution to the Christmas dessert table is going to be! And I love the story, too!
JaneMiami December 19, 2013
Hi Vrunka, thanks so much. My heart gave a jump, thinking that you're going to be making this for Christmas! Just FYI: sometimes I offer crème fraiche & raspberries to accompany this cake...but it's really "gilding the lily" so to speak. Hope you really like it.