Wheat-free Chocolate Torte… “you must be nuts!”

I have a friend who cannot eat wheat, so last week when I made my Christmas cake and went on Facebook to boast about it, she came back with the following comment:

Cake you make me a wheat free one please and I’ll have mine basted with brandy and not rum thank you!

Hmm a challenge… I like challenges, so I searched through my library of baking books and travelled through cyberspace and managed to find a couple of recipes for Wheat-free, Dairy-Free Christmas Cake, but for some reason the idea of using rice flour just didn’t feel right.

I didn’t give up though, I kept searching and then I found the recipe for this lovely torte which isn’t exactly a Christmas Cake but I am sure it will be perfect for a self-confessed chocoholic who lives in a wheat free world.

What the heck is a torte?

A torte (pronounced tort-aye) is a rich, usually multilayered, cake that is filled with whipped cream, buttercreams, mousses, jams, or fruits. Ordinarily, a cooled torte is glazed and garnished. A torte may be made with little to no flour, but instead with ground nuts or breadcrumbs, as well as sugar, eggs, and flavorings.

  • Skill level: a bit of effort
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour
  • Equipment needed: food processor, hand mixer, 8 to 10 inch (25cm) cake tin

Ingredients

  • 150g/5½ oz shelled and peeled almonds (I used almond flakes)
  • 150g/5½ oz shelled walnuts
  • 300g/11 oz best-quality cooking chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 255g/9oz butter
  • 100g/3½ oz caster sugar
  • 6 large eggs, separated (see video)
  • pinch of salt

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°c/375°F/gas 5 and then line the bottom of a 20 or 25cm baking tin with a piece of greaseproof paper before buttering the bottom and sides and dusting with flour (gluten-free rice flour will work).
  2. Place the nuts into a food processor and chop until finely ground.
  3. Add the chocolate and cocoa powder to the food processor and whizz for 30 seconds to break up the chocolate.
  4. Put the mixture to one side, then add the butter and sugar to the food processor and beat until fluffy and pale.
  5. Separate your eggs. Keep the whites to one side and then add the yolks to the sugar and butter mixture one at a time.
  6. Mix together the butter/sugar/egg yolk mixture and the chocolate/nut mixture.
  7. In a separate clean bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until the form stiff peaks.
  8. Gently fold the mixtures together.
  9. Bake in the heated oven for around an hour. To test if the torte is cooked insert the tip of a knife in for 5 seconds, it should be fairly clean when removed.
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