I found this recipe in a 1970s Croatian dessert cookbook and as soon as I turned the page and saw it, I thought “Oh my God, I HAVE TO give that a go!” Never before had I made a grand cake or dessert like this and I feel it was a triumph (even though it’s slightly too sweet for me). But really it’s the filled central layer and the decoration (however you choose to do it) that makes it ‘grand.’ The baked cake is super easy to prepare and consisting of really simple ingredients you can decorate it (or not) however much, or little, as you like.
Another thing that I had no idea about is what the difference is between a cake and a torte? According to the internet it’s this…a traditional cake is made with ingredients mainly consisting of sugar, eggs, butter and flour. A torte calls for little to no flour and the use of ground nuts or breadcrumbs instead. These ingredients make the torte much heavier in both texture and taste. Well, praise to another flourless Croatian recipe especially in these coronavirus times where flour is possibly a bit harder to find. And thanks to those Austro-Hungarian bakers for bringing their expertise to Croatia.
So now I know the difference between a cake and a torte, here is this classic Croatian recipe.
For the torte
- Six egg yolks
- 200 grams caster sugar
- 250 grams finely ground walnuts
- Two tablespoons bread crumbs
- Six egg whites
For the filling/icing
- Four eggs
- 250 grams caster sugar
- Five ribs dark cooking chocolate
- 250 grams unsalted butter
- One tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat a fan-forced oven at 180 degrees celsius
- Using a mixer beat the egg whites until thick
- In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar until foamy. Add the ground walnut, breadcrumbs and fold through
- When combined fold through the egg whites and pour the batter into a pre-greased round cake tin (the smaller the higher the torte will be – I felt my tin could have been smaller) Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake is cooked through
- For the filling/icing, combine the eggs and sugar over a steam bath and gradually add the broken up chocolate and allow to melt, stirring constantly until it thickens.
- Once all the chocolate has melted, set aside to cool.
- In another bowl, whip the softened butter and lemon juice and add to the completely cooled chocolate mixture. Leave the mixture to cool in the fridge for atleast an hour.
- Once the cake done, remove from tin, allow to cool completely and cut through the centre of the cake using a sharp knife
- Once the filling/icing is hard to the touch, top the interior of the cake with filling and gently place the top half of the cake onto the iced base
- I decorated this torte by icing the whole exterior, added ground walnuts to the base and then used a piping bag to pipe the pattern onto the top and adding whole and crushed walnuts to the top (as per the 1970s cookbook picture). You can decorate it as you like
- Leave in the fridge for about 15 minutes (or a couple of hours for flavours to develop) and serve
Let me know if you tried this magnificent torte and what you thought?
Dobar Tek! Zivjeli! (Bon Appetit! Cheers and let’s live!)