Raspberry Hazelnut Torte, a traditional nut-based cake soaked in fruit juice and Grand Marnier with raspberry cream filling and raspberry jam topping, is an elegant spring dessert that is easier than it looks.
Grocery shopping is always an adventure here. Most baking supplies are imported because Cambodians don’t bake -even though they eat more bread than any other Asian country and they love sweets. So you always have to wait to see what was in the shipping container.
This week, they had frozen Oregon Raspberries, cream cheese, and marscapone. I happened to have some ground hazelnuts so I thought I’d try a European style torte. It was a stretch for me since I haven’t made a layer cake in ages and I didn’t bring cake pans with me. I have to look for recipes that can be made in a springform pan because that’s all that’s available here.
Another weird thing about Cambodia is that books in the bookstore are wrapped in plastic wrap so you don’t know what you’re getting when you buy a new book. I bought The Golden Book of Patisserie without seeing it’s contents. I was hoping for a book on technique but there’s none of that in this book – just recipes.
The recipe for Raspberry Hazelnut Gateau caught my eye in part because I had most of the ingredients and it looked really delightful.
I’ve changed it up a bit to make it easier for American cooks to find the ingredients in their pantries. Bob’s Red Mill flour makes a ground hazelnut meal but if you can’t find that or hazelnuts (filberts), you can substitute pecan meal or almond meal.
I also substituted Grand Marnier for Kirsch (which I’ve not seen here). The orange flavor really complements the raspberries and you can substitute pulp-free orange juice if you want an alcohol-free version of the cake.
Lastly, I only used half as much raspberry jam as the recipe called for. I used half of a 12 ounce jar of Smuckers raspberry jam. You could reduce the sugar by using fruit only jam.
The ground nuts give Raspberry Hazelnut Torte a heavier, coarser texture than typical American cakes but that goes really nicely with the raspberry cream filling. I hope you enjoy this Raspberry Hazelnut Torte as much as my friends here did.
Hazelnut Sponge Cake
- 8 large eggs
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 ⅓ cups finely ground toasted hazelnuts
- 1 ¾ cups plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
Raspberry Cream Filling
- 1 pound fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1 ⅔ cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup Grand Marnier (or pulp-free orange juice)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1 ¼ cups whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
- ¼ cup cold water
- 6 ounces raspberry jam (½ jar of Smuckers raspberry jam)
- Combine raspberries, 1 cup powdered sugar and Grand Marnier (or orange juice) in a bowl. Soak for 1 hour (you can start the cake during this time and finish the filling while the cake bakes).Drain the raspberries, reserving the syrup.
- Beat the cream cheese, remaining powdered sugar (⅔ cup), and lemon zest until creamy. Beat in raspberries.
- Sprinkle gelatin in cold water in a small saucepan. Let stand 1 minute. Heat on low, stirring, until gelatin is completely dissolved. (Alternatively, heat water in microwave and add gelatin to hot water. Stir until dissolved). Let cool to room temperature. Beat into raspberry mixture.
- In a cold bowl with cold beaters (I put mine in the freezer for 1 hour), beat whipping cream until stiff. Use a spatula to fold whipped cream into raspberry mixture and chill for at least 1 hour.
- Butter a 9" springform pan. Line with parchment paper (I put the bottom of the pan of the parchment, trace a circle and cut out for the lining).
- Beat eggs and powdered sugar in a heatproof bowl (I used a stainless steel bowl that fits on top of one of my pots). Place the bowl on top of a pot of boiling water. The bowl should sit above the boiling water not in it. Beat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and continue beating on high until the mixture is pale yellow and triple in volume.
- Use a spatula to fold in flour and hazelnuts. I sifted the flour over the egg mixture in three parts and then added the hazelnuts one fourth at a time. Spoon into prepared pan.
- Bake at 400°F for 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove the sides and then invert onto a rack. Remove the pan bottom and carefully remove the parchment paper. Turn over again onto a second rack and cool completely.
- You have four ingredients now - a cake, raspberry syrup, raspberry cream and raspberry jam. Use a knife to split the cake into three layers by slicing in thirds horizontally. Place one layer on the serving plate. Spoon ⅓ of the raspberry syrup over the top of the bottom layer. Do this slowly to let the syrup soak into the cake. Spoon half of the raspberry cream on top of the bottom layer of cake and spread evenly over the layer.
- Put the second layer on top of the raspberry cream. Spoon ⅓ of the raspberry syrup over the top of the second layer. Spoon the remaining half of the raspberry cream on top of the second layer of cake and spread evenly.
- Top with the last cake layer. Spoon the last ⅓ of the raspberry syrup over the top. Heat the raspberry jam in a microwave for 1-2 minutes until melted. Spread on top of the cake. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
- Garnish with whipped cream and fresh raspberries.
Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 429Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 171mgSodium: 121mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 4gSugar: 35gProtein: 9g
Nutrition information is provided as a guide only. Please consult a dietician for specific dietary needs.