There was someone working in the grocery store yesterday giving out free cosmo shots. I’m not certain if it was the booze coursing through my veins but out of no where, dessert struck me! I quickly searched through the Smittenkitchen blog for inspiration. I’ve been following that blog for the past six years and it was in the gluten free section that I found… a Chocolate Hazelnut Macaroon Torte. All of those things in one luscious dessert? Yes. Please and thank you. The recipe took a good amount of time but it is very much worth it if you have a love of hazelnuts!
Chocolate Hazelnut Macaroon Torte
(Recipe credit to smittenkitchen)
Cooking oil spray
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
6 large egg whites
2 1/2 cups hazelnuts (about 12 ounces or 340 grams), toasted, then skinned as much as possible*
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon espresso granules
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy or whipping cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Frangelico
A semi- or bittersweet chocolate bar for shaving
1. Spread raw hazelnuts on a cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, tossing once throughout baking. Let cool and roll them around with a towel to remove as much of their skins as you can.
2. Change heat to 325°F and position oven racks in the top and lower levels of oven. Draw eight-inch circles onto four pieces of parchment paper. Place them face down onto two baking sheets, ensuring pencil-side is down so that it doesn’t touch the macaroon mixture. Spray each of the circles with cooking oil and wipe down with a paper towel so that there is a thin layer of oil on each.
3. Place hazelnuts into the food processor with 1 cup of sugar and salt. Blend until very finely ground (I didn’t blend quite as much as I would prefer for next time. This is an important step!) Set aside.
4. Beat egg whites in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Carefully drizzle in the vanilla extract and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Beat until stiff peaks have formed, they will almost have a pearly sheen to them.
5. Fold hazelnut mixture into egg whites in thirds. Spread a quarter of the macaroon batter evenly within each circle, filling completely. Bake macaroon layers until golden and dry to the touch — 20-25 minutes. Cool macaroons on their sheets on a cooling rack.
6. While meringues cool, heat half of chocolate chips, water, and espresso in a small heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring until smooth. After all the chips have melted, remove from heat and stir in second half of chocolate until melted. Spread chocolate evenly over tops of meringue rounds, as long as they are cool enough. Cool until chocolate is set, this could take over an hour or you could place them in the refrigerator for a few minutes to help speed it along.
7. While chocolate is setting, beat heavy cream with sugar and Frangelico in standing mixer until it holds stiff peaks.
8. To assemble, peal macaroons off parchment paper and place first disc directly onto whatever serving plate you plan to use. Spread 1/3 cup of whipped cream onto each layer before placing the next. When you’ve reached the final layer, frost the top and side of torte with whipped cream. Using a vegetable peeler, scrape shavings off chocolate to top the cake.