For my sister’s birthday this year she asked me to make a Chocolate Hazelnut Torte for her birthday cake. This is a torte that my gran used to make for her birthday when she was little and when I make it I always associate it with her. The combination of chocolate, hazelnut meringue and cream add a rich but light treat. It’s such an easy torte to make and I’ve made it many times for dinner parties because it’s made ahead of time. This time I decorated the torte with the words Happy Birthday but usually I arrange strawberry halves around the edges. The meringues are best made the day before (store in air tight container overnight) and then arranged together on the day.
The ‘Happy Birthday’ decoration on top is made by pouring 100’s and 1000’s (you could also use sprinkles) into a baking tray so it is evenly covered. Then melt chocolate (I used dark chocolate) and pour into a piping bag or plastic bag and pipe the words happy birthday backwards. The place the tray in the fridge until the chocolate has set. Then you can place the letters onto the cake or stand them up on cakes or cupcakes. (if standing the letters up, make the base of the letters longer with the chocolate so they can be poked into the cake for support)
Gran’s Chocolate Hazelnut Torte
4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
¼ tspn vanilla extract
1 cup ground hazelnuts toasted ( put on oven tray and bake for 2 minutes, turn over then another 2 minutes)
½ tspn vinegar
300ml whipping cream, whipped
100g dark chocolate, melted
- Line baking tray with baking paper and trace 2 circles around a bread and butter plate (20cm) for template.
- Whip egg whites until stiff, gradually add sugar a bit at a time and beat well. Fold in vinegar, vanilla and hazelnuts. DON’T WHIP
- Spread evenly over both circles and bake 175C until firm and golden for 35 minutes. Then allow to cool
- Decorate by placing 1 meringue on a plate, top with whipped cream and pipe melted dark chocolate on top, then top with other meringue (upside down so the base is the top of the torte) and again top with cream and swirl melted dark chocolate to make a pattern. (Remove from the fridge 10-15 minutes before serving so the chocolate is not too hard.)