A Torta Gianduia is a traditional Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, It hails from the the Piemonte region, which is in the northern tip of Italy. The name of the cake refers to the marriage of chocolate and hazelnuts, which is always a winner. In fact, I’m not opposed to making my own gianduja – that’s the chocolate-hazelnut spread that our friend Nutella is based on. In fact, I often make BraveTart’s White Chocolate Pistachio version too – but that’s a whole other post.
This flourless Italian chocolate-hazelnut cake is full of deeply satisfying dark chocolate. You can use any brand of chocolate-hazelnut spread you choose, but I feel the results are best with an all-natural product. The ideal pairing for this cake is espresso or cognac, and I serve it with a healthy dollop of freshly whipped cream.
I love this cake, and I love even more that’s it’s naturally gluten-free. No GF conversions here, folks. This one tastes JUST the way your Italian grandma would want it to, if you had one.
XO – KC
- 1/2 cup | 1 stick (227g) unsalted butter, plus more for the baking pan
- 4 ounces (113 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2/3 cup (90 g) hazelnut meal
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for the baking pan
- One 13 ounce (370 g) jar chocolate hazelnut spread
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon orange juice or cognac
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175C).
Fit the bottom of a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan with a round of parchment paper, then butter the pan and dust with sugar and set aside. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or gently in the microwave, 15 seconds at a time.
Fit an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, and beat the egg whites until they are foamy. Add the sugar, and beat until the whites form stiff peaks, about 2-3 minutes. In another bowl, use the mixer with the paddle attachment to beat the butter and chocolate-hazelnut spread together. Add the egg yolks, salt, and orange juice or cognac, and mix until fully incorporated. Then add in the melted chocolate, vanilla, and hazelnut meal, and mix until smooth.
Gently fold a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then add the rest of the egg whites and fold them in gently, being careful not to overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a tester comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes, then open the spring and remove the side ring, and slide the cake and parchment out of the pan and onto a serving plate. Allow the cake to fully cool before serving. Delicious topped with fresh whipped cream and orange zest.
photos by Katie Roletto from our days at Love With Food