Editor’s note: please make today’s guest welcome, Kristie Welsh, PR and Comms wonderwoman who runs her own agency called Communicated. From now on, Kristie will share monthly recipes with all of us, so that we can wow our friends and family with her achievable but delicious creations.
Hands up who’s been following Nikki’s travels through Europe, wishing it was you bathing in the warm Italian sunshine overlooking the Mediterranean?
Yep. Me too.
So while I may be rugged up at home in my winter woollies, I decided my taste buds at the very least deserved a little Italian-inspired indulgence of their own.
This flourless chocolate-hazelnut torte, made with a slightly fruity Tuscan olive oil, is just the ticket.
It is my go-to dessert when I’m caught off-guard with last minute dinner guests (and as an added bonus, it’s gluten and dairy free).
Best of all, it is really easy to make… And when I say easy, I mean you will dirty one mixing bowl and have it in the oven in about ten minutes flat. I’m the sort of cook who loves minimum effort for maximum reward!
- 2 cups hazelnut meal
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
- 1/2 cup raw sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil (medium fruitiness)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- [i]Optional: Substitute 30mL (2 tbsp) water for a shot of Frangelico, hot espresso or Cointreau.[/i]
- Grease an 8” round or springform pan (I always go with the fail-safe option of lining with greaseproof paper) and pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
- Place all your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Mixing on a low speed, add eggs one at a time, followed by the olive oil, water and vanilla bean paste.
- At this point, you can also choose to substitute 30mL or approximately 2 tbsp of water with Frangelico/ hot espresso/ Cointreau, depending on your mood.
- Crank up the speed to high and beat for an additional 2 minutes to get some air into the mixture.
- Pour it into the pan. You will be worried that the mixture is too runny, don’t be.
- Bake for approximately 50min – 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Cool to room temperature and serve with a dusting of icing sugar on top, alongside whipped cream or ice-cream (or both!) and fresh berries.
You can also play around with flavours of your liking – add a shot of Frangelico for an extra hazelnut kick or hot espresso for a subtle coffee flavour that will also lift the intensity of the chocolate.
My personal favourite is a shot of Cointreau and some orange zest – it brings out the fruitiness of the olive oil and plays nicely with the chocolate and hazelnut flavours.
Then again, the original version is always a winner too!
What flavour would you like to experiment with?
Buon Appetito x
Kristie Welsh is a Brisbane-based mum of three children under six, who runs her own PR and communications consultancy, Communicated, and happens to really, really enjoy good food. She likes to pretend she is a really excellent cook by adapting and creating recipes that are actually incredibly simple, yet look and taste amazing. Kristie counts cooking with Jamie Oliver as her culinary highlight.