This autumnal torte was a great hit with my cake testers. I originally planned to do this with raspberries but with a large basket of plums begging to be used, made it with plums instead. Make sure you allow plenty of time for chilling.

Plum & Hazelnut Stracciatella Torte

INGREDIENTS
For the Sponge
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 50g ground hazelnuts
  • 50g dark chocolate sprinkles
For the Plum Filling
  • 9 gelatine leaves, soaked for 10 minutes in cold water
  • 800g plums
  • 7 tbsp Brandy
  • 250ml double cream
  • 110g caster sugar
To Finish
  • 1 gelatine leaf, soaked for 10 minutes in cold water
  • 300ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp of icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 150g plums
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp roasted chopped hazelnuts
METHOD
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease a 20cm springform and line with baking parchment.
  2. For the Sponge, in a large bowl beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar and vanilla essence until pale and fluffy.
  3. In a separate clean bowl beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry.
  4. Sift together the flour and baking powder and mix in the ground hazelnuts and chocolate sprinkles.
  5. Fold a third of the egg whites into the egg yolks then add the remaining egg whites and the flour mixture and gently but swiftly fold everything together until combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, level the top and bake in the preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack. Once completely cooled cut the cake in 4 even slices horizontally.
  8. For the Plum Filling, wash, halve and remove the stones of the plums. Place the plums in a saucepan with 100g of caster sugar and the Brandy. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 6 – 8 minutes until the plums have softened.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and puree the plums with a hand blender then stir in the squeezed out gelatine leaves and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool completely then place in the fridge for 15 – 20 minutes until the mixture begins to set.
  10. Beat 250ml of the double cream until thick and fold into the plum mixture.
  11. To assemble, place the first sponge cake layer onto a serving plate and enclose in a close fitting cake ring.
  12. Spread over a third of the plum mixture and cover with the second sponge.
  13. Spread over a third of the plum mixture and cover with the third sponge.
  14. Spread over the remaining plum mixture and finish with the remaining fourth sponge.
  15. Cover the top with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours until set.
  16. Dissolve the gelatine leaf in 1 tbsp of hot water and leave to cool.
  17. Beat 300ml of double cream with the icing sugar and vanilla essence until beginning to thicken.
  18. With the beaters running on low slowly add the dissolved gelatine to the cream.
  19. Turn up the speed and continue beating the cream until stiff but still spreadable.
  20. Fill a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle with a third of the cream and set aside.
  21. Spread the remaining cream over and around the sides of the cake.
  22. Pipe 12 rosettes of cream around the top of the cake and sprinkle with the hazelnuts.
  23. Remove the stones from the reserved plums and cut into 12 slices. Arrange the slices over the top.
  24. Break the chocolate into a microwave bowl and melt in 30 second bursts.
  25. Decoratively drizzle the chocolate over the top and sides of 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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