Austro-Hungarian Hazelnut Cream Torte Recipe

Hazelnut Cream Torte

Tara Fisher for Interlink Books

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
607 Calories
37g Fat
60g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 607
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 47%
Saturated Fat 11g 57%
Cholesterol 222mg 74%
Sodium 185mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 60g 22%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 46g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 101mg 8%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 320mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This decadent Austro-Hungarian hazelnut cream torte recipe features a hazelnut sponge cake with almond-whipped cream filling worthy of the most elegant dinner. Best of all, it's quite simple to pull off.

There is a huge crossover of recipes among Austrian, Hungarian and German cuisines, where this would be known as haselnusscrèmetorte (literally "hazelnut cream cake") in German and mogyorókrém torta in Hungarian.

Hazelnuts ​are often referred to as filberts and, while they are related, they grow on trees of different species. Still, if hazelnuts are too expensive or unavailable in your area, filberts can be substituted in this recipe with good results. Read about the importance of hazelnuts in Central European cooking here.

Because the egg used in the filling won't be cooked, purchase pasteurized eggs or pasteurize eggs in a microwave oven.

Ingredients

For the Batter:

  • 1 1/2 ounces fine breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature, separated

  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) confectioners' sugar

  • 4 ounces hazelnuts, toasted and finely ground

For the Nut Cream Filling:

  • 2 1/2 ounces almonds

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) confectioners' sugar

  • 1 large egg, pasteurized, at room temperature, beaten

  • 1 tablespoon dark rum

Steps to Make It

  1. Grease and lightly flour an 8-inch round springform cake pan. Toast the hazelnuts, let them cool completely and grind them finely (to a sawdust consistency). Set aside.

  2. To make the batter: Heat the oven to 375 F/190 C. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs with the flour and set aside. In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Wash the beaters thoroughly.

  3. In a third medium bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, beating in the remaining confectioners' sugar. Alternately fold the egg whites, ground hazelnuts, and flour-breadcrumb mixture into the sugar-egg yolk mixture.

  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan. Once cooled, remove the cake from the pan.

  5. To make the cream filling: To make the nut cream filling, start by toasting the almonds. When cooled, coarsely chop the toasted nuts and set aside.

  6. Melt 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring all the while until it caramelizes. Remove the pan from the heat immediately and stir in the nuts. Promptly spread onto a lightly oiled baking sheet or a silicone mat to cool. Once cooled, break into chunks, then pound coarsely (or more finely, depending on your preference) in a mortar. Reserve 4 tablespoons for the topping.

  7. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 pasteurized egg until light and fluffy, then stir in the caramelized almonds and the rum until well incorporated.

  8. To assemble the torte: Slice the cake in half horizontally and spread two-thirds of the filling between the two layers. Spread the remaining filling over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the top with the reserved caramelized almonds.

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.

Source: Adapted from "The Viennese Kitchen: Tante Hertha's Book of Family Recipes" by Monica Meehan and Maria von Baich (Interlink Books, 2011).