I have a spring form pan and have only made cheesecake in it.  Thanks to Taste of Home, I have another reason to dig the spring form pan out from the back of the cupboard.  I've never tried making a torte before but it looks fantastic and I'm excited to serve it on Thanksgiving as an alternative dessert to my homemade pumpkin pie.

I bought my spring form pan years ago and never used it.  Truth be told, I was afraid to bake with it.  Then, I was inspired by an almond cheesecake recipe and it was divine.  I'm hoping the same will happen with this Chocolate Espresso Nut Torte Dessert.

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 Eggland's Best Eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon baking cocoa
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

GANACHE

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds, toasted

DIRECTIONS

  • Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Line the bottom of a greased 9-in springform pan with waxed paper; grease the paper and dust with cocoa. Set aside
  • Place hazelnuts and brown sugar in a food processor; cover and process until ground. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the melted chocolate, espresso powder, extract and salt. Gradually add hazelnut mixture.
  • In a large bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Spread into prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet.
  • Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Remove sides of pan and invert onto a serving plate.
  • Place chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool, stirring occasionally, to room temperature or until ganache reaches a spreading consistency, about 30 minutes.
  • Spread ganache over top and sides of cake; press almonds onto sides. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. Yield: 14 servings.

One thing left to do, enjoy the flavor and the ohh's and ahh's of your guests :)