Friday, 21 January 2011

chocolate nusstorte

When I rehoused my cookery books, I found myself reading recipes for chocolate cake. I came across this recipe, which intrigued me. It has no flour, other than some crumbled biscuit, and no fat other than the chocolate and cream. It's called a nusstorte, but it's really a chocolate cake, made with nuts. It's actually very dark, and not chewy. The little bit of jam gives it a tang and somehow enhances the chocolate experience, without butting in too much. The covering is mousse like and contrasts well with the cake, and it's a pleasure to eat.

This cake has been reviewed by chocolate lovers and given a high score. It isn't one of those weighty slabs of chocolate cake, it's light, but rich. I like a thin slice with cream. Steve likes a big slice.

It's easy to make - I use the hand blender whisk attachment, two bowls (one for yolks and one for whites. I don't use the highest cocoa content chocolate, as I find it's overpowering and makes the cream mixture almost bitter, as well as so stiff that you have to add milk. You might like the bitter edge, if so, please go ahead, however do add the milk to get the lovely mousse-y consistency to cover the cake.



150g dark chocolate
450ml double cream
5 large eggs
175g castor sugar
150g walnuts
25g biscuit crumbs (approx two biscuits)
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp powdered instant coffee
a squeeze of lemon juice
2 heaped tbsp of cranberry jelly 
pinch of salt

Set the oven to Gas Mark 4/180C/350F


Butter and flour a 20cm/8" springform cake tin

If you haven't got a springform tin, line the base with baking parchment.

Break the chocolate into pieces and put it into a bowl with the cream and set over simmering water. Don't let the  bowl touch the water. Stir the cream and chocolate together until the chocolate is melted and they are well mixed and set aside to cool – then put mixture in the fridge.

You can prepare this the day before.


Grind the walnuts into flour.
Stir the cocoa, coffee and lemon juice into the ground walnuts.

Separate the eggs and yolks into two mixing bowls.

Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, adding it gradually and whisking until the mixture thickens.
Fold nut mixture into egg yolks.
Whisk the egg whites (using clean whisk) with a pinch of salt, until they are stiff.
Fold egg whites into egg yolk and nut mixture.
Pour cake mixture into the prepared tin.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes.
Let the cake sit in the tin for at least 5 minutes before turning it out, and letting it cool on a rack.

To finish the cake
Whip the cream and chocolate mixture, just like cream,

Cut the cooled cake into two.
Warm the jam or jelly and spread over the cut layers.
Spread some of the whipped chocolate and cream over the bottom layer and sandwich the two layers together.
Spread the rest of the chocolate and cream over the top and sides of the cake.


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