Do you hate going to the dentist? I know some people who have a huge fear of being in a dentist’s chair. Me? Not so much. I think it’s because the first dentist I remember going to was my mom’s niece (or my “aunt” if you get Filipino family dynamics). Once you see your dentist belting out karaoke hits at the top of her lungs, it takes the scare factor out of seeing her with a drill in her hand.
One thing I do hate about my dentist visits is finding out that I have yet another cavity. My sweet tooth can get uncontrollable sometimes, so I’m pretty religious about brushing my teeth very carefully and flossing every night.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t resist digging into this Chocolate Hazelnut Macaroon Torte the week before my dentist appointment. I suspect it contributed somewhat to my teeth problems. But can you blame me for being unable to resist it?
I made this torte for my man’s birthday. I know it doesn’t look very pretty – my cake decorating skills pale in comparison to my baking super powers – but it was absolutely, positively, scrum-diddly-umptious.
At first, all the chocolate and hazelnuts reminded me of my Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies, but the flavour and texture is more similar to a Ferrero Rocher. If it was about 8” wide, four layers tall and covered in decadent whipped cream, that is.
The macaroon layers are soft, not chewy, which is a great sign you beat the egg whites to just the right consistency. It holds up well against the chocolate and whipped cream layers, so that each bite is just pure bliss.
I think it was definitely worth the cavities, don’t you?
Chocolate Hazelnut Macaroon Torte
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 C plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
6 large egg whites
2½ tbsp ground hazelnuts
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Oil or butter for greasing parchment rounds
The Chocolate Filling
1 C bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
¼ C water
The Whipped Frosting and Filling
1½ C chilled whipping or heavy cream
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Semi- or bittersweet chocolate bar for shaving
Let’s do this:
Make the macaroons
- Position your oven rack/s in the top and lower third of your oven and preheat it to 325F
- Flip a plate upside down over four pieces of parchment paper and trace around it to create 8-inch circles. Turn each piece of parchment over to prevent ink or pencil lines from seeping into macaroon.
- Place each piece of parchment on a baking sheet and spray with cooking oil or lightly coat with butter. Wipe down with a paper towel to leave a very thin, sheer coat of grease.
- Place hazelnuts, 1C sugar and salt in a food processor and blend until finely ground.
- In a bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Drizzle in vanilla extract, then slowly add remaining 2 tbsp of sugar. Beat together until mixture is stiff, but not dry.
- Fold nut mixture into egg whites in 1/3 increments so egg whites don’t lose their fluff.
- When everything is mixed, spread ¼ of the batter evenly within each parchment circle, filling completely.
- Bake macaroons until golden and dry to the touch – approximately 20 minutes in my oven.
- Cool macaroons on a cooling rack or do it the speedy way by placing them in the freezer for five minutes.
Make the chocolate filling
- While macaroons cool, heat half of chocolate and all the water in a small heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir until smooth.
- Remove from heat and stir in second half of chocolate chunks until melted. This should cool the mixture to lukewarm.
- Grab cooled macaroons and spread chocolate evenly over the top of each one. You want a thin layer on each.
- Let cool at room temperature, which can take a few hours, or do it the speedy way and place in freezer until firm (about five minutes).
Make the whipped frosting
You can do this a day ahead and leave in the refrigerator until you’re ready for it.
1. Beat cream with sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
Put it all together:
- Gently peel the parchment off the back of each macaroon round. Place the first disc on your cake serving plate.
- Slather 1/3C of whipped cream over it. Repeat with second and third macaroon.
- Top the cake with the final round and frost all over with whipped cream.
- If desired, use a grater or vegetable peeler to scrape chocolate bar and create decorative shavings or curls for the cake.