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Fig & Hazelnut Chocolate Torte

 

This impressive cake is the perfect way to celebrate any festive occasion.

Chocolatier’s Tip

Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day. If not transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment for 4 to 6 minutes on low speed until smooth again.

Medium
8 people

Ingredients

  • Hazelnut Sponge Cake:
  • 7 medium eggs, separated
  • 1 cup (250 mL) sugar
  • 6 tbsp (90 mL) water
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) (180 g/6.3 oz) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) (10 g/0.3 oz) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) (2 g/0.1 oz) salt
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) (60 g/2.1 oz) ground hazelnuts
  • Fig Chocolate Mousse:
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) (10 g/0.3 oz) gelatin powder
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) (1 fl oz) water
  • 100g Lindt EXCELLENCE Fig Intense, finely chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cups (250 mL) (8 fl oz) 35% whipping cream; divided
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup (75 mL) (50 g/1.7 oz) sugar
  • Hazelnut Buttercream:
  • 3 medium egg whites
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) (140 g/4.9 oz) sugar
  • 1/4 tsp (2 g/0.1 oz) salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) 1/2 lb (125 g) butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) (1 fl oz) hazelnut syrup
  • Dark Chocolate Drip:
  • 100g Lindt EXCELLENCE 85% Dark Chocolate Intense, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (125 mL (3 fl oz) 35% whipping cream
  • Assembly
  • 4 fresh figs, quartered
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) (75 g/2.6 oz) toasted hazelnuts
  • 100g Lindt EXCELLENCE Fig Intense, cut into diamonds

Method

Step 1.

Hazelnut Sponge Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F /180°C/ Gas Mark 4. Grease and flour bottom and sides of three 6-inch/15cm round cake pans or line with parchment paper; set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Beat together egg yolks and sugar until thick and lemony coloured. Slowly beat in water until incorporated. Sift flour mixture over top and stir until blended. Fold in ground hazelnuts and vanilla. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of whipped egg whites into the yolk mixture and then fold in remaining whipped egg whites. Divide into prepared pans; smooth tops. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean when inserted into centre of cake and springs back when lightly touched. Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely.

Step 2.

Fig Chocolate Mousse: Sprinkle gelatin over the water; let stand for 5 minutes or until gelatin has softened. Meanwhile, place chocolate and salt in heatproof bowl; set aside. Heat half the cream in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until steaming. Stir softened gelatin into cream until dissolves. Pour cream mixture over chocolate; let stand 1 minute. Whisk until chocolate is smooth and melted; set aside. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolk and sugar in heatproof bowl set over saucepan of simmering water for 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture is thick. (To test: let the mixture fall back into bowl from the whisk, it’s thick enough when a ribbon forms on the surface and slowly disappears back into mixture.) Fold egg yolk mixture into chocolate mixture. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Place over ice bath, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes or mixture starts to thicken and cooled to room temperature. Beat remaining cream until stiff peaks start to form. Fold one third of cream into chocolate mixture. Then fold remaining mixture. Transfer mousse to piping bag without a tip.

Step 3.

Stack one cake on a cake plate. Using half the mousse mixture, pipe a border of mousse around edges of cake then pipe more mousse to cover the cake inside the border. Stack with another cake and repeat with mousse mixture. Cap with remaining cake. Chill cake for 2 to 4 hours in refrigerator or until mousse is set firm.

Step 4.

Hazelnut Buttercream: Combine egg whites, sugar and salt in heatproof bowl of a stand mixer set over pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved. (The mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingers.) Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture for 8 to 12 minutes or until fluffy, glossy and completely cool. (Test by the touching the bottom of the bowl.) With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all the butter has been added, beat in the hazelnut syrup. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until all air bubbles are eliminated. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue to beat until frosting is completely smooth. Spread thin layer of the buttercream frosting over top and sides of cake to create a crumb coat. Then spread remaining frosting to cover top and sides. Chill cake for 1 to 2 hours to set frosting.

Step 5.

Chocolate Drip: Place chopped chocolate in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM powder, stirring every 30 seconds for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth and melted. Meanwhile, heat cream in small saucepan set over medium heat until heated through and just starts to simmer. Whisk hot cream slowly into chocolate until blended. Cool to room temperature. Mixture should be thick but pourable.

Step 6.

Assembly: Transfer Chocolate Drip mixture into squeeze bottle or piping bag fitted with small round tip. Squeeze chocolate mixture over top edges of cake so chocolate drips down sides of cake in pretty uniform fashion. Then squeeze remaining chocolate on top of centre of cake and spread to cover top of cake. Garnish cake with fresh figs, hazelnuts and chocolate diamonds.

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