Arthur Schwartz's LOVE TORTE
Recipe Courtesy of Arthur Schwartz
For History on "The Love Torte", a guide to Italian Culinary Adventures and more visit www.arthurschwartz.com
Serves at least 10
For the cake:
- 1 3/4 cup hazelnuts
- 15 Amaretti di Saronno cookies
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
For the icing:
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
- 2 tablespoons Amaretto di Saronno liqueur
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the filling:
- 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon Amaretto di Saronno liqueur
To prepare the torte layers:
Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan. Cut out a piece of parchment to fit the bottom of the pan. Put it over the buttered and floured base of the pan.
Put a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Preferably using a hand-held rotary grater, grind the nuts. They should be fine and powdery. You should get 2 1/2 cups of ground nuts.
In the same way, or using a mini-processor, grind the amaretti cookies until powdery. You should have 3/4 cup.
In a small bowl, combine and stir together the ground hazelnuts and amaretti.
Separate 3 of the eggs, using the yolks for the torte base, the whites for a meringue that gets folded into the batter.
In a stand mixer, using the whisk, beat together the 2 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks on medium-high speed. With the motor running, add the 1/2 cup of sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to high and beat until light colored and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
In a clean bowl, beat the 3 egg whites until frothy, then sprinkle in the last 2 tablespoons of sugar as you continue beating until the whites hold firm peaks.
By hand, using a rubber spatula, alternately fold the egg whites and ground mixture into the beaten eggs, using half of each for each dose.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Gently even out the batter in the pan. Bake for 40 minutes, until the center of the cake tests dry with a toothpick.
Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan: Before attempting to remove it, insert a thin-bladed sharp knife between the cake and the pan.
To prepare the icing:
In a stand up mixer, with the whisk, beat the egg yolks on medium-high speed until light colored. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar. The mixture will be very thick.
Lower the speed and whisk in the melted chocolate, then the Amaretto liqueur. Finally, add the butter, about 1 tablespoon at a time. When the butter has all been absorbed, the icing should be very smooth.
The icing can be made several days ahead and kept refrigerated. Make sure to bring it back to room temperature. Before attempting to ice the cake, the buttercream must be very soft.
To prepare the filling:
In a stand up mixer, with a hand-electric mixer, or even by hand, beat the cream with the sugar and the liqueur until it holds firm peaks.
When the cake has fully cooled, slice it horizontally to make 2 layers.
Line a serving plate with 3 squares of waxed paper that can be pulled out from under the cake when it has been filled and iced. Place the bottom layer of cake on the serving plate, cut side up.
Spoon all of the whipped cream onto the cake layer and spread evenly.
Top with the second cake layer, cut side down. Using a metal spatula, ice the cake on top and down the sides.
Keep refrigerated, but bring back to near room temperature before slicing and serving.