April 3, 2013

Torta Alla Gianduja (a.k.a. Nutella Cake)

Nutella is a food (yes, it's totally a food, what are you talking about?) that I revere and covet simply because my Mum hardly ever buys it and so it's rarely in our house.  In the times that we do have Nutella, I have to force myself to do something other than eat it out of the jar with a spoon.

Nigella Lawson's Torta Alla Gianduja (Nutella Cake) comes to the rescue!

Recipe adapted from: How To Be A Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson
Ingredients - cake (20 cm (8 inch) round cake)
6 large eggs
pinch of salt
125g softened butter/margarine
400g Nutella
1 tbsp Frangelico, rum or water
100g hazelnut meal (ground hazelnuts)
100g dark chocolate

Ingredients - icing
enough hazelnuts to cover the top of your cake (Nigella uses 100g) - using pre-peeled hazelnuts is easiest
125mL double cream
1 tbsp Frangelico, rum or water
125g dark chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (365 F).

2. Melt the 100g chocolate for the cake and set aside.  Separate the eggs.

3. Whisk the egg whites and salt in a large bowl until stiff but not dry.  The below photo is what you shouldn't want to have - those eggs have been a bit overbeaten!  Yikes!  (They still worked, though, phew).  Set that bowl aside.

4. With your stand mixer or in another bowl, beat the butter and Nutella together.

Add the Frangelico (I used water; I'm not entirely sure that I have Frangelico in my house), egg yolks and hazelnut meal.

5. Fold your melted chocolate into the Nutella mixture.

6. Lighten the chocolate mixture with a dollop of egg white and mix it in roughly; then gently fold the rest of the egg white in about a third at a time.

7. Prepare a 20cm Springform tin or equivalent with a baking paper lining at the bottom, and butter along the sides.  My Springform tin is about 20cm in diameter and that worked fine.

8. Pour the batter into the tin and cook for 40 minutes, or until the cake begins to come away from the sides of the tin.

9. Let the baked cake cool on a rack.  It will need to be quite cool to take it out of the Springform, so you can leave it in the tin for a while.

Look at how gorgeous those cracks look!  Don't worry if the cake sinks in the middle, knives and icing cure all.

10. If your hazelnuts still have their brown skins on, use this method to peel them.  (I used the roast-then-rub-in-tea-towel method and, as you can see, some of the skins still remain.  Which is bad.)

Once the hazelnuts are peeled, toast them in a frying pan until they are slightly browned and smell delicious. Keep tossing the nuts and moving them around so that they don't burn!  Set them aside to let them cool.

11. In a saucepan, combine the cream, Frangelico or water, and chocolate.  Heat them gently and once the chocolate's melted, take the pan off the heat and whisk until it reaches a spreadable consistency.

12. If your cake's sunk in the middle and you want it to be flatter, just grab a serrated bread knife and chop the unwanted parts of the top off.  Eat those; you deserve them!

13. Spread the top of the cake with the icing, then apply the cooled hazelnuts in an artful fashion.  (Make sure that the hazelnuts are cool, otherwise the icing will melt!)

Serve and enjoy.


  1. that looks delightful :)

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    I hope you can make it!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick