This hazelnut and chocolate cake is a classic in Germany, called “Nusskuchen” and in Italy where it is known as “Torta Gianduja.” The recipes are identical, combining the perfectly matched flavors of hazelnuts and dark chocolate. We have followed the original recipe for the cake, but have added some chunks of baking chocolate to the dough and chopped walnuts on top of the chocolate frosting. The recipe is simple and the cake keeps well if packed in aluminum foil after cooling. It seems to get better from day to day. One can also flavor it with rum or rum aroma.
Hazelnut Cake or Torta Gianduja
Standard 1 lb. loaf pan 8.5″ x 4.5″ buttered and floured
For the batter:
4 oz. (100 g) ground hazelnuts
4 oz (100 g) chopped and roasted hazelnuts
2 oz (60 g) baking chocolate chunks
1 cup (225 g) soft butter
1 cup (200 g) white sugar1 tl vanilla extract (or beans from one pod)
1/4 tl salt
3 L eggs
1-1/2 cup flour
2 tl baking powder
For the frosting:
4 oz (120 g) 70% dark chocolate
2 oz (60 g) milk chocolate
1 TBl butter
A handful of chopped walnuts for the topping
Preheat the oven to 360 °F (180 °C)
1) Cream the butter with a hand mixer. Slowly add the sugar, salt and vanilla and continue creaming until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time and beat at highest speed for 30 sec. each.
2) Combine the flour and baking powder with the ground and chopped hazelnuts and add to the butter mixture in two portions, mixing at medium speed.3) Transfer the batter to the prepared form and place in preheated oven. Bake for 60 min, covering with foil if top begins to burn.
4) Place on a wire rack and allow to cool in the form for 10 min, tip the cake out of the form and allow to cool completely on the rack.
5) When the cake has cooled prepare the frosting by breaking up the chocolate and melting with the butter in a water bath (bain marie). Do not hear the chocolate over direct heat or it will curdle. Pour the frosting over the cake and using a knife or spatula spread it evenly as it cools. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on top and allow to cool.
We have been enjoying this cake with tea or a latte macchiato for breakfast and in the afternoon on these cold winter days.