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Hazelnut-Chocolate Viennese Torte

potato starch (or sugar) for the pan
6 large eggs, 5 of them separated
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice, preferably fresh
3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon rind (yellow part only)
3 oz. very finely grated semisweet (or "dark") bar chocolate
2 1/2 cups very finely ground unblanched hazelnuts (about 8 oz)

1/4 cup sweet Passover wine, sherry, or flavored brandy
about 1/2 cup apricot (or other) jam or preserves

1/3 cup water
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

about 1 cup ground hazelnuts, for the sides of the torte
12 whole hazelnuts
1 ounce semisweet (or "dark" bar chocolate (for chocolate curls)

Grease a 9-inch springform pan well, and coat it with potato starch
(or sugar), tapping out any excess. If desired line the bottom of
the pan with wax paper to make removal of the cake easier. Set

For the batter, in a large mixing bowl, beat the 5 egg whites with
the salt and lemon juice until foamy. Then very gradually add 1/4
cup of the sugar, and continue beating the whites until they form
stiff, but not dry, peaks.

Use the same beaters and another bowl to beat the 5 egg yolks and
the additional whole egg with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the
lemon rind until they are very light and fluffy. Gently, but
thoroughly, fold the beaten whites into the beaten yolk mixture.
Then fold in the grated chocolate and ground hazelnuts. Pour the
batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the torte in a preheated 325-degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes,
or until the top springs back when gently pressed with a fingertip.
Leave the torte in the oven, turn off the heat, and open the oven
door slightly. After 10 minutes, remove the torte from the oven.
Run a knife around the edge of the torte to release it from the
pan rim; then cool the torte for 30 minutes longer in the pan.
(The center of the torte will settle slightly.)

Cover a 9- or 10-inch cardboard circle with a heavy duty aluminum
foil or freezer paper, for a base (or use a cake platter). Invert
the torte onto the prepared base and remove the bottom of the pan
(and the wax paper, if used). Sprinkly the wine evenly over the
torte. Heat the jam (in a small saucepan on the stove, or in a
small heatproof bowl in the microwave oven) until it is thinned;
then brush or spread the jam all over the torte. (This not only
adds flavor, but also evens out the surface of the cake so the
chocolate glaze will be perfectly smooth.)

For the chocolate glaze, combine the water, oil, sugar, and cocoa
in a small saucepan and mix very well. Cook the mixture over LOW
HEAT, stirring constantly for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the glaze
thickens slightly and is very smooth and shiny. For the best flavor
and texture, it should not boil. Remove the glaze from the heat
and stir it for 3 to 4 minutes longer, or until it cools slightly
and gets a bit thicker. Pour all the glaze in the center of the
torte, and immediately use a metal or rubber spatula to evenly
spread it all over the top and sides. Wipe up any drips from the
cardboard base or serving platter.

Let the torte rest a few minutes until the glaze begins to set,
but is still soft. Press handfuls of ground hazelnuts all over the
sides of the torte, but NOT the top. Arrange the whole hazelnuts,
evenly spaced, in a circle on top of the torte, about 1 inch in
from the edge. Heap some chocolate curls (or coarsely grated bar
chocolate) in the center of the torte (where it may have settled
a bit). Refrigerate the uncovered, completed torte for several
hours or, preferably, overnight so that the glaze can set, and the
flavors and textures can "mellow."

For the best flavor and texture, remove the torte from the refrigerator
a few hours before serving.

Makes about 12 servings.


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Taste: Ease of Prep: Appearance:
critic, November 20, 2005 - 07:16 PM
Reviewer: Anonymous from mississauga ontario
I would go with a chocolate ganache sauce myself but if one added some tapioca flour or corn starch to the coco powder the sauce will thicken and be more easy to work with. My vote is with chocolate ganache & then topped with raspberries & chocolate shavings.

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Taste: Ease of Prep: Appearance:
yummy but needs a few adjustments, April 25, 2004 - 11:12 AM
Reviewer: Anonymous from bay area, california
Cake part was good, skip liquor,use real raspberries on top for decoration, find a different chocolate sauce recipe Ė this one didnít stick/thicken enough for me

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