Monday, August 28, 2006

Gianduia Torte

I found a recipe of Gianduia Torte from during my research for birthday cake last week. I wanted to make it because the recipe coincidentally came from Bar Italia, an Italian restaurant below our apartment. Heading a frugal student life, we have yet checked out this restaurant let alone its dessert. I did a search and was excited to find that the Gianduia Torte is still on their menu, with $6.00 per piece.

With the recipe on hand, I decided to make my version of gianduia torte in my little apartment kitchen. Never mind the fact that I don't know how a torte should taste, and I don't have a food processor to grind the hazelnut..... Since I haven't fully recovered from the muscle ache caused by Saturday's house moving, OCT kindly took up the responsibility to smash the hazelnut using the meat mallet.

It was a flourless recipe and I can't help but wonder if torte and brownie were the same thing. Appearance wise, they really resemble one another. And both don't call for baking powder or baking soda. Maybe they are relatives. Because I remember adding flour in the brownie. So in that sense, they are different....

After 15 minutes of pounding, OCT presented the coarsely grind hazelnut to me. Good enough for now. I went ahead with the mixing, folding and baking. The torte was ready after 40 minutes.

The humble Gianduia Torte made her appearance on the subsequent night dinner with the company of Starbuck Coffee ice cream. She was too nervous to come out on her own because of her plain look, she said. It turned out that the torte and coffee ice cream were a great combination, and they received positive reviews from many. Bittersweet chocolate and hazelnut, the parents of gianduia torte and Mandy's Biscottis were relieved that both their creations were well received. They are contemplating another baby, namely chocolate hazelnut cookies for their dessert family.

I think they will do well. But I won't know for sure. The EBT (estimated baking time) is on 31 Aug 06. We will know in a few days time. Meanwhile, well done Gianduia Torte!

Note: Because Gianduia was too nervous of her first apperance, she refused to take photo. After the great review, she was promptly devoured by the greedy OCT on the subsequent morning....

Gianduia Torte
(adapted from Bon App├ętit Dec 1997)

1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted, husked
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter

7 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 8-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Butter parchment. Wrap outside of pan with foil. Finely grind hazelnuts in processor. Stir chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool chocolate mixture to room temperature.

Using electric mixer, beat yolks and sugar in large bowl until thick and pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Fold in cooled chocolate mixture, then hazelnuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Smooth top.

Bake until cake is set and appears dry but tester comes out with very moist crumbs attached, about 45 minutes. Transfer to rack. Lightly press down any raised edges of cake. Cool completely. Run small knife around sides of pan to loosen cake. Remove pan sides. Invert cake onto platter. Remove pan bottom. Peel off parchment. Slide waxed paper strips under cake to protect platter.

Serves 12.

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