I can honestly say that this is my new, favourite cake. I am generally not really that keen on chocolate cake but this one has me converted. The crunchy nuts with the soft ricotta cream and the chocolate sponge are just delicious. The cake is fairly easy to make but if you don’t want to make the chocolate decorations you could use chocolate sprinkles or flakes.

Chocolaty Caramel & Walnut Torte

INGREDIENTS
For the Chocolate Sponge
  • 100g dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa)
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 5 medium eggs, separated
  • 80g + 90g caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 50g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 10g cornflour
  • 50g ground walnuts
For the Filling
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 70g chopped walnuts
  • 250g Ricotta
  • 200g Nutella or similar
  • 2 gelatine leaves, soaked for 10 minutes in cold water (see Notes)
  • 400g double cream
For the Topping
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 65g butter
  • 65g double cream
  • 150g chopped walnuts
To Decorate
  • 100g dark chocolate
METHOD
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan. Grease and line a 20cm springform with baking parchment.
  2. For the chocolate sponge, break the chocolate into a microwave bowl, add the butter and melt in 30 seconds bursts or alternatively, melt in a bowl suspended over simmering water. Leave to cool.
  3. Beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff then slowly beat in 80g of the sugar until the mixture is thick and glossy.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining 90g of sugar until pale and creamy.
  5. With the beaters running add the cooled chocolate in a thin stream to the egg yolk mixture.
  6. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cornflour and stir in the ground nuts.
  7. Fold a third of the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture then add the remaining egg whites and the flour mixture. Gently but swiftly fold everything together until combined.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  9. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely before slicing it in three equal slices horizontally.
  10. For the filling, roughly chop the walnuts. Line a shallow baking tin with baking parchment.
  11. In a small saucepan and over a low heat, gently stir together the sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved. Stop stirring, or the sugar will crystalize, and increase the heat. Let the mixture boil until you have a pale golden caramel colour then add the chopped nuts and continue cooking the mixture until a golden colour. You do need to watch the sugar as it will turn very quickly and can burn. Pour the mixture onto the parchment-lined tin and leave to cool and set before chopping it into small pieces.
  12. Melt the Nutella in the microwave for 30 seconds or do this in a bowl suspended over simmering water until soft then let it cool for a few minutes.
  13. Dissolve the squeezed out gelatine in a tablespoon of hot water and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  14. Beat the melted nutella into the ricotta then slowly stir in the gelatine.
  15. Beat the double cream until thick then stir the cream into the ricotta mixture.
  16. Place the bottom sponge onto a serving plate and enclose with a cake ring.
  17. Spread with a third of the ricotta cream and sprinkle with half the chopped nuts.
  18. Add the second sponge and spread with a third of the ricotta cream then sprinkle with the chopped nuts.
  19. Reserve 3 – 4 tbsp of the ricotta cream. Place the third sponge on top and spread with the remaining cream. Refrigerate the cake for 2 – 3 hours.
  20. To make the topping, place the sugar, butter and cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir and simmer the mixture until a golden caramel colour then add the chopped nuts. Leave the mixture to cool.
  21. Remove the cake from the fridge and remove the cake ring. Spread the sides of the cake with the reserved cream.
  22. Spoon the cooled caramel over the top of the cake.
  23. For the chocolate decorations, break the chocolate into a microwave bowl and melt in 30 second bursts.
  24. Place a sheet of baking parchment on a chilled baking tray or onto a cool worktop. With a pallet knife spread the chocolate into large oval shapes and leave to set.
  25. Place the chocolate ovals, overlapping slightly, around the cake.
Note: I have used Dr. Oetker Diamond Leaf Gelatine. If you are using a different brand, please refer to the manufactures instructions.

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