This is a lovely flourless sponge cake, which is richly enhanced with the Advocaat and apricot cream. The chocolate collar is not as difficult as you might think but feel free to omit the collar and just press on some grated chocolate or roasted chopped hazelnuts.
Apricot & Chocolate Torte
For the Sponge
- 55g unsalted butter, softened
- 65g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 10g vanilla sugar
- 1½ tsp baking powder, gluten free (optional)
- 135g roasted ground hazelnuts
- 65g dark chocolate, grated
- 35ml Advocaat
- Pinch of salt
For the Filling
- 1 can of apricots in juice
- 4 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water
- 100ml Advocaat
- 400ml double cream
- 30g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Decorations
- 200ml double cream
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 1 gelatine leaf, soaked in cold water
- 100ml Advocaat
- 12 edible flowers
- 60g dark chocolate
- 15g roasted chopped hazelnuts
- For the Sponge, preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease and line a 23cm spring form with baking parchment.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter with the sugar and vanilla sugar until pale and creamy.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition, until well incorporated.
- Mix together the roasted hazelnuts and the baking powder and stir into the mixture then beat in the Advocaat.
- In a separate clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff.
- Working in thirds, gently fold the egg whites into the batter until combined.
- Pour or spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled cut the cake in half horizontally.
- For the Filling, drain the apricots reserving the juices and chop into cubes.
- Heat 6 tbsp of the reserved apricot juice until just below boiling and add the squeezed out gelatine. Stir to dissolve and set aside to cool.
- Beat the cream with the sugar and vanilla essence to a soft peak.
- Stir the Advocaat, chopped apricots and cooled gelatine into the cream.
- To assemble the cake place the bottom sponge onto a serving dish and enclose with a cake ring.
- Spread over the apricot cream and top with the second sponge.
- Refrigerate the cake for 3 hours before removing the cake ring.
- Beat 200ml of the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla essence until stiff but spreadable and spread three quarters of the cream over the top and sides of the cake. Fill a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle with the remaining cream and set aside.
- Heat 2 – 3 tbsp of the apricot juice until hot but not boiling and add the squeezed out gelatine. Stir to dissolve.
- Stir the Advocaat into the gelatine mixture.
- Mark the top of the cake into 12 portions and using a dessertspoon, indent each piece at the outer end and fill with the Advocaat.
- Return the cake to the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Pipe a rosette onto each piece and top with an edible flower.
- To make the chocolate collar, cut a piece of baking parchment slightly longer than the circumference of the cake and the height of the cake.
- Break the chocolate into a microwave bowl and melt the chocolate in 30 second bursts. You can also do this in a heatproof bowl suspended over barely simmering water.
- Fill a small food bag or a piping bag with the melted chocolate and snip off a small corner.
- Pipe lines or a design of your choice along the parchment paper.
- Leave until beginning to set. It will go from shiny to a matt colour and you should be able to touch it without it coming off on your fingers but still be soft enough to mould around the cake.
- Carefully pick up the chocolate collar and gently press around the cake.
- Leave to set in the fridge before carefully peeling away the parchment paper.
- Sprinkle the centre of the cake with the roasted chopped hazelnuts.