Torta Alla Gianduia (Chocolate Hazelnut Cake)

Total Time
2hrs 10mins
Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 40 mins

This is from Nigella Lawson's book, How to be a Domestic Goddess. It's quite easy to make, yet looks drop-dead impressive. Definately a cake that will cheer the soul of any adult. I used my KitchenAide mixer, so if you aren't using one, your prep time may be a bit longer.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
  2. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan: grease and line with parchment or wax paper.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs whites and salt until stiff but not dry (this means that they will hold their peaks, yet still appear glossy and smooth).
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and Nutella together, then add Frangelico (or what you have chosen to use), egg yolks, and ground hazelnuts.
  5. Fold in the cooled, melted chocolate, then lighten the mixture with a dollop of egg white, which you can beat in as roughly as you want, before gently folding the rest of them in a third at a time.
  6. Pour into the prepared pan and cook for 40 minutes or until the cake's beginning to come away at the sides, then let cool on rack.
  7. Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan until the aroma wafts upward and the nuts are golden brown in parts: keep shaking the pan so they don't burn on one side and stay too pallid on others.
  8. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  9. This is imperative: if they go on the ganache while hot, it'll turn oily (believe me I speak from experience).
  10. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, add the cream, liquer or water, and chopped chocolate and heat gently.
  11. Once the chocolate's melted, take the pan off the heat and whisk until it reaches the right consistency to ice just the top of the cake.
  12. Unmold the cooled cake carefully, leaving it on the base as it will be too difficult to get such a damp cake off in one piece.
  13. Ice the top with the chocolate icing, and dot thickly with the whole, toasted hazelnuts.
  14. If you have used Frangelico, put shot glasses on the table and serve it with the cake.


Most Helpful

Yum Yum! Very decadent! I made for my daughter's birthday because she cannot eat gluten and loves hazelnuts. The icing didn't work right; but still tasted good. I changed up with raspberries AND Hazelnuts to decorate the top. So delicious. Next time, I'll chop up the hazelnuts before toasting. They were too big whole to eat properly. I'll make this again! And again!

tinantam August 29, 2013

What a decadent and surprisingly forgiving cake! I realized halfway through that I didn't have quite enough nutella (about a cup, I think) so I made up for it by adding extra ground hazelnuts (about an extra half cup). This cake was a hit for the grown-ups at a family birthday party. Hazelnuts are in season, so I bought locally grown ones at the market and toasted and ground them myself. It was a lot of work, but definately worth it.

ksparker September 22, 2009

This was so good I made this exactly to the recipe right down to the Frangelico, however I garnished it a little differently… I used 12 Ferrerro Rocher instead of the whole Hazel nuts!... this cake is so rich I probably could have used 16 Ferrerro Rocher … Wow what a beautiful dessert! Not a difficult cake at all I personally thought getting the Parchment paper to stay in the pan was the hardest. I did want to make a note about the frosting. I found it difficult to get this to the right consistency, note-“I have a kitchen aid� it wasn’t until I put the mixture in the freezer long enough to cool it off then it wiped up like it was suppose to “like Chocolate Moose� This is defiantly on my list of desserts to impress! Thank you so much LB

LB in Middle Georgia January 09, 2009

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