Torta d'Alassio | Midwest Living

Torta d'Alassio

Torta d'Alassio

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  • Makes: 10 servings
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Stand 1 hr
  • Bake 30 mins to 35 mins
  • Cool 2 hrs

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Glossy chocolate glaze encases moist chocolate cake in this decadent dessert. Top it with caramelized sugar shards.


  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • Unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups whole hazelnuts (filberts), toasted, skins rubbed off*
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour or all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Caramelized Sugar Shards (optional)


  1. Allow egg whites, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with additional unsalted butter. Line the bottom of pan with parchment paper or waxed paper. Grease the paper and sides of the pan; set aside.
  2. In a food processor bowl or blender container, place 3/4 cup of the hazelnuts. Cover and process or blend until ground; set aside. Chop remaining 1/2 cup hazelnuts; set aside.
  3. In a heavy small saucepan, heat the 8 ounces chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and smooth; set aside.
  4. For the cake: In a large mixing bowl, beat the 1/2 cup softened butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until well combined and scraping sides of bowl. Add egg yolks, 1 at time, beating well after each addition (about 1 minute total). Reduce the speed to low and beat in the melted chocolate and ground hazelnuts. Scrape bowl as needed. Set aside.
  5. Thoroughly wash beaters. In a separate large mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form (tip curl). Gradually add the 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Using a rubber spatula, fold half of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold flour into chocolate mixture; fold mixture into the remaining egg white mixture. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake is firm to the touch. Remove from the oven. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen edges of cake with a spatula. Invert onto wire rack. Remove the pan. Cool cake thoroughly on wire rack.
  7. For the glaze: In a heavy small saucepan, heat the 4 ounces chocolate, the 1/2 cup butter and honey over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Place a sheet of waxed paper under the wire rack. Pour the warm glaze over the top of the cooled cake, allowing glaze to run down the sides.
  8. Transfer cake to a serving plate. With your fingertips, press chopped hazelnuts onto the sides of the cake. Allow cake to stand until glaze is set (about 1 hour). Serve with whipped cream on the side and garnish with Caramelized Sugar Shards, if you like. Makes 10 servings.


  • To Toast Hazelnuts: Place the nuts in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 10 minutes or until toasted. Place the warm nuts in a clean kitchen towel. Rub the nuts with the towel to remove the loose skins.

Caramelized Sugar Shards


  • 1/2 cup sugar


  1. Line a baking sheet with foil. Grease the foil; set aside. In an 8-inch heavy skillet cook sugar over medium-high heat until sugar begins to melt, shaking skillet occasionally to heat sugar evenly. Do not stir. Once the sugar starts to melt, reduce heat to low. Cook about 5 minutes more or until all of the sugar is melted and golden, stirring as needed with a wooden spoon. Immediately drizzle melted sugar on prepared foil-lined sheet in a decorative fashion. Allow to set; break into shards.

Nutrition Facts

(Torta d'Alassio)

Servings Per Recipe 10, fiber (g) 4, iron (mg) 2, calcium (mg) 50, sat. fat (g) 21, sodium (mg) 24, chol. (mg) 119, Fat, total (g) 44, carb. (g) 41, vit. C (mg) 1, vit. A (IU) 875, pro. (g) 7, cal. (kcal) 547

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