Toasted Hazelnut Fudge Cake with Mocha Glaze, Naturally Gluten-Free

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As I sat down to do this write up and compared my notes to the original recipe, I realized that I unintentionally made several major changes.  In a rush to beat sundown, I suppose I wasn’t paying very close attention and my mind read pounds as cups.  Oops.

I have no idea what this dessert would have been like had I stayed true to the original recipe (except that it would have a whole lot more butter and sugar) but I was pretty pleased with how my version turned out.  It’s a three-layered rich and fudgy flourless cake, although the mocha glaze binds the cake together, making the layers almost indistinguishable but allowing the mocha flavor to permeate the entire cake.

I made the cake in a 12-inch by 17-inch baking sheet, but if I were to do it again, I’d make it in a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan instead;  I think it’d be nice to have a thicker cake, although I’ll warn you that a little sliver packs a big punch, flavor-wise and probably calorie-wise as well.  I wrote the recipe below with the change.

Roasted Hazelnut Fudge Cake with Mocha Glaze


3/4 cup hazelnuts, plus extra for garnish
1-1/3 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips)
8 Tablespoons butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup sugar
6 egg whites
pinch of salt
butter, for greasing pan
rice flour, for flouring pan

Mocha Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup very strong coffee
2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
6 Tablespoons butter
6 egg yolks


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a a baking sheet. Bake until they begin to smell fragrant, and their skins are brown and split, about 7-10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Rub the nuts in a clean kitchen towel; the skins will come off (a small amount of skin remaining on the nuts is normal. I also like to leave a couple with skins on for garnish). Using a blender or food processor grind the nuts into hazelnut flour. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Prepare the cake by softening 1 1/3 cups of chocolate chips in a double boiler and allow to cool slightly. Using an electric mixer, whip the stick of butter with the 1/2 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the melted chocolate and hazelnut flour and stir thoroughly to combine.

Using clean beaters, whip the egg whites with a punch of salt until very stiff. Add about a quarter of the egg white to the chocolate hazelnut mixture to lighten and mix well. Gently but thoroughly fold in the remaining egg whites.

Thoroughly butter a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan and generously dust with rice flour. Pour in the mixture and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool.

Meanwhile make the mocha glaze by combining 1/2 cup of sugar and coffee in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until syrupy. Let cool slightly. Mix in 2/3 cup of chocolate chips and and 6 Tablespoons of butter and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. While stirring, add the egg yolks in one at a time. Keep stirring until the filling thickens. Let cool.

Cut the cake into 3 pieces of equal size (9-inch by 4 1/3-inch). Place bottom layer on a piece of wax paper and slather with some mocha glaze. Place another piece of the torte on top and place more glaze on top. Top with the final piece of torte and spread the remaining glaze over the top and sides of the torte. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.

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