May is one of the most lovely months of the year.  The winter snowstorms are behind us, spring is here in all her glory, and it’s time to celebrate!  Delight your mom on Mother’s Day with this delicious chocolate torte.  Make an extra torte to have on hand for dessert at your Memorial Day barbecue.  This torte freezes beautifully for up to two months—just defrost several hours or the night before serving. Serve the torte with just a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar, or for a more elaborate and colorful presentation, finish it with a rich and lustrous chocolate glaze, and serve with raspberry sauce.



  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into pieces
  • 6 ounces butter or margarine. cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons frangelico or amaretto liqueur
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • pinch salt


  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into pieces
  • 4 ounces butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 375.  Line bottom of 8×3-inch springform pan with parchment or wax paper.

Combine chocolate and butter in a double boiler and stir occasionally over low heat until melted and smooth.

Stir in Frangelico and almond extract and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until pale and thick.  Stir in the warm chocolate mixture, hazelnuts and flour.  Set aside.

Beat the egg whites and pinch of salt at medium speed until soft peaks form.  Gradually sprinkle in remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating at high speed until stiff but not dry.  Fold about 1/4 of the egg whites completely into the chocolate batter to lighten it.  Quickly fold in the remaining egg whites.  Turn mixture into prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake shows moist crumbs.

Cool torte completely in pan on cooling rack.  It will rise and then fall in the center leaving a higher rim of cake around the sides and possibly some cracking.

Level and unmold and flip the torte onto an 8-inch cardboard cake circle (to facilitate glazing). You should have the flat bottom of torte on top for glazing. Alternately you can place it on a cake plate if you’re not going to glaze it.  Just sprinkle with some confectioner’s sugar.  If desired, serve with raspberry sauce.

To glaze torte:

Melt chocolate, butter and honey in top of double boiler.

Use a metal icing spatula to spread about 1/4 of the glaze in a thin layer all over the torte.  This is a “crumb coat” to secure the loose crumbs and to provide a smooth base for the final glaze.

Refrigerate for 10 minutes—no more.

Rewarm the remaining glaze to 90-92 degrees.

Center the torte on a platter or turntable.  Pour all of the glaze on the top center of the torte.  With just 2 or 3 strokes of the icing spatula, spread the glaze all over the top of the torte so that it runs down over all of the sides.  Turn the platter or turntable as you spread the glaze.  Do not respread or resmooth once the glaze starts to set or the finished torte will show spatula marks and dull streaks.

The glaze will set in 10 to 20 minutes.

Raspberry Sauce:

  • Two 10 ounce packaged frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Chambord, Framboise, or Kirsch
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of the liquid reserved from the thawed raspberries—if necessary

Drain raspberries, reserving liquid. Puree drained raspberries in blender or food processor. Strain puree through fine mesh sieve. Discard seeds. Stir in sugar, liqueur, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of reserved thawing liquid (as needed to thin sauce to desired consistency). Chill until needed.

Essex Fells Magazine

May 2011