It’s time to confess . . . this chocolate walnut cardamom torte is so deliciously-moist there’s never enough time in our household to ice it!
So, if you don’t like overly-sweet cakes, this recipe is sensational.
Quick and easy to make, this torte has the most perfect amount of dark chocolate and nuts with a hint of coarse salt and warm spice every now and then.
I’ve tried both walnuts and hazelnuts in the recipe and it’s hard to decide which is best.
And, because it’s not a thick or crumbly cake, slicing a slither for a quick, guilt-free nibble, never got any easier.
(I’ve even been known to pop a slice in the toaster for a quick, warm snack.)
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But first, what if you don't like walnuts?
I get it, walnuts are not everyone’s cup of tea so substitute with hazelnuts and this recipe is just as divine!
Hazelnuts give the torte a bumpier looking surface, but the combination is more Nutella-like and every bite is delicious!
Scroll down to learn how to dry roast hazelnuts.
And then, have you considered if egg beater speed matters?
Here are two different chocolate nut tortes.
One is walnut the other, hazelnut.
After making my first recipe with a whisk and seeing a barely 1/2″ thick torte come out of the oven I made some cottage kitchen ‘must-have’ changes.
Not usually a baker, I didn’t even have a manual, hand-wind egg beater.
But, I saw more tortes in my future so happily tested two electric egg beaters on my next attempts. First a 3-speed then a 7-speed.
The results were surprising.
Overall, the 7 speed was a natural winner for texture.
With more air pockets, the hazelnut torte was a lighter experience without leaving any of the hearty chocolate taste behind.
You can even see small air pockets on the top!
And, even though the hazelnut is a heavier nut, they never sank.
In the end, both tortes tasted delicious, so don’t let your 3-speed egg beater stop you!
Just give your eggs an extra-long beating.
3 Speed 5 Speed 7 Speed
What's The Difference Between a Torte and a Cake?
I love this question!
Basically, a cake rises to about 4″ in height because of the baking powder or baking soda mixed in with the flour. The cake often falls apart when you take a bite.
A torte, on the other hand, barely rises, is fairly heavy to hold, and can be sliced oh-so, 1/8″ thin.
This recipe has a 50:50 nut flour to regular flour mix but some tortes are completely flourless, made from ground nuts.
Tortes are often sliced in two from side to side then a layer of icing is added in between. Sometimes the top is iced and decorated with nuts and berries for a special occasion.
Tips and Tricks That Make This Torte Even Easier
Melt the chocolate with water FIRST.
It is surprising how long this combination takes to cool.
Next dry roast your nuts – whether they are walnuts or hazelnuts.
Bake them on a tray for 10 minutes at 350 degrees C.
Remove from the oven and let them cool.
While the nuts are baking, roll a pencil around the base of the pan and trim on the outline.
As you’ll see later, you get a neat small edge inside the pan!
Butter the pan BEFORE adding your parchment paper.
Tilt the pan base and use the light to check you have covered the surface evenly.
Here’s that neat parchment paper edge I was talking about!
Now apply butter to both the top side of the paper and sides of the pan.
You’ll see later, it’s much easier to remove the paper once the torte is baked because it’s easier to spot!
Lightly flour the base to help the torte separate once it’s baked!
How to Make Your Chocolate Walnut Torte
The trick to enjoying a light yet dense torte begins right here – with the eggs.
Make sure they are at room temperature. Your eggs will aerate so much more.
Use a LARGE mixing bowl here because you are adding all other ingredients to this bowl.
Use an electric beater and whisk until the eggs are foamy.
Add brown sugar 1/3 at a time and beat the egg mixture in between.
Measure out your nut and regular flours and add to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Below is hazelnut flour, but almond flour works just as well.
And Here's the Secret Spice to Your Chocolate Walnut Torte!
To the flour, add cardamom, coarse sea salt and cocoa powder if you like double dark chocolate tortes. Stir until the dry ingredients are well mixed together.
Gently stir in the flour, spice mixture. If you’re too vigorous the egg foam will flatten.
Add the melted chocolate and slowly stir until well blended.
Add your dry roasted walnuts (or hazelnuts) nuts to the mix, stir until they are evenly distributed.
Pour the mixture into the springform pan.
If you’re making a gift mini-torte, pour this one first!
Bake 40 minutes before testing for doneness with a toothpick.
Cook a further 5-10 minutes if the toothpick is not clean when inserted and removed.
Let the pan and torte cool together for 10 minutes BEFORE releasing the spring.
Release the spring and using a blunt knife, insert it between the base and paper lining. Give the knife a small twist and the base will easily separate away.
Remove the paper and allow the torte to cool completely before slicing and serving!
If you are icing your torte wait at least one hour before decorating.
Store in an airtight container in a cool place.
Delicious on its own as a simple chocolate treat with a hint of walnuts.
If You Prefer Hazelnuts
Roast raw hazelnuts at 350 degrees C for 10-15 minutes, or until the skins have split.
Allow them to cool.
Gently apply pressure to the hazelnuts then blow on them. The skins should release.
Alternatively, leave the skins on!
Regardless of which nut you choose, now’s a good time to consider gifts!
Do you have a teacher, a trainer or a neighbour who loves whole food and needs a thank you gift!?
One way to save time and gift your baking!
Prepare and fill a mini springform pan as well. Add a portion of your mixture and bake a gift at the same time!
Bake your mini-torte for 12-15 minutes.
Test for doneness with a toothpick then allow the torte to cool slightly.
Release the spring’s hinge to let the pan bottom drop away then gently insert a knife beneath the paper. (See the paper at the bottom on the right)
Twist the knife blade to release the torte, remove the parchment paper then place the torte on a rack to cool while you make a gift box and label!
Chocolate and Cardamom Walnut Torte
- Kitchen scale
- Small pot
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Baking tray
- Parchment paper
- Large and medium mixing bowls
- Wooden spoon
- 9" springform baking pan
- 4" springform baking pan if you are gifting a torte
- Oven mitts
- Cooling tray
- A pencil and scissors
- Butter knife
- Electric egg beater
- 5 eggs at room temperature
- 3 oz dark unsweetened chocolate
- 1/2 c water
- 1/2 c dry roasted walnuts substitute with hazelnuts
- 1/2 c hazelnut flour substitute with almond flour
- 1/2 c flour more for dusting the pan
- 3/4 c brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- Weigh 3 ounces of chocolate on kitchen scales before adding to a small pot. On LOW heat, melt the chocolate with ½ c water. Set aside to cool.
- Place ½ c raw walnuts (or hazelnuts) on a baking tray and bake 10 minutes at 350°C. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Measure flour, nut flour, cardamom, sea salt and cocoa (if you prefer a double-chocolate torte) and add to a medium mixing bowl. Stir until well mixed.
- Crack and add 5 eggs to a large mixing bowl. Beat until thick and foamy.
- Add one-third of the brown sugar to the eggs and beat in between. Repeat three times.
- Gently stir in the flour mixture.
- Add cooled melted chocolate and gently stir until mixed.
- Add dry-roasted walnuts and gently stir until mixed.
- Add to the prepared springform pan and bake for 45 minutes at 350°C. Test for doneness with a toothpick.
- Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick. If the wood is clean, your torte is baked. If some mixture sticks, cook a further 5-10 minutes before re-testing.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on a tray for 10 minutes BEFORE opening the spring.
- Remove the pan, base and parchment paper and allow the torte to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. If you are icing the torte, wait at least 1 hour.
- Serve slices with fresh berries and vanilla ice cream topped off with fresh grated chocolate, or keep it simple and serve the torte on its own.
Preparing the Springform Pan
- Lay the base of the pan on parchment paper and trace around the edges. Trim with scissors.
- Rebuild the springform pan before applying butter to the base. Tilt the pan to check all surfaces are evenly coated before adding the parchment paper disc.Press the paper into the pan before wiping with additional butter and dusting with a light coating of flour.