Hazelnut-Apricot Torte with Chocolate Ganache

This is a light, moist cake that uses no flour at all. It is also the sort of cake that tastes better the next day, so is a good one to make in advance, cutting the work on the day of your occasion. I love the combination of hazelnut, apricot, chocolate and brandy. They are best of pals.

Prepare two 9″round cake pans by greasing only the bottom, adding parchment paper circles, and then greasing the paper.

8 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar

Whip the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time, continuing to beat well. Whip until egg whites are very stiff.

12 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups ground hazelnuts

Mix the vanilla into the egg yolks. Whisk a cup or two of the egg white mixture into the yolks to lighten them, making it easier to fold them into the bowl of egg whites. Fold the yolk mixture and ground nuts into the whites, taking care not to over mix and deflate the batter.

Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, until the top springs back. This is not the time to groove to tunes or bop around the kitchen. Air is the only thing holding this cake up and bouncing can make it fall. Save your dancing until after you have tasted the cake. ūüôā

Remove cakes to a rack to cool.

When cool, make the apricot filling, which is a no-brainer!

3/4 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup brandy

Mix, and apply to one layer of the cake. Top with the other layer.

Top with chocolate ganache, otherwise known on my blog as Mother of All Chocolate

1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, shaved or chopped in small pieces
2 Tbsp. Brandy

Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in a heavy pan. (do not boil). Remove from heat. Add chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Add brandy and stir to combine. Let this cool somewhat so it is still pourable, but not thin.

Spoon over the top layer of cake, letting the chocolaty goodness run down the sides until the cake is covered. While doing this, I like to leave the cake on the cooling rack, with a tray underneath, to collect any sauce that runs off the cake. Let the chocolate set. (You will have some chocolate sauce left over. Poor you. Check out some of the other Mother of All Chocolate recipes on the blog if you require inspiration for the consumption of said chocolate. Otherwise, there are spoons. Haha)

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