Hazelnut Mocha Torte (gluten free)

My gluten-intolerant Italian friend introduced me to this amazing cake when she made it for her birthday last year. I finally got around to trying it myself recently and was surprised by how easy it was to make – for a cake with no flour or leavening. The cake itself is beautifully moist and tender with the flavour of hazelnuts and real chocolate. The coffee mascarpone topping is the perfect accompaniment. I was so impressed by how it turned out that I made a second one to bring to Christmas dinner. This is a great flavour combination and a recipe worth trying!

Hazelnut Mocha Torte

Please note that this cake will barely rise as it uses no leavening agents. It is also normal for the cake to sink slightly in the centre as it is cooling. For a taller cake it is fine to double the mixture and extend the baking time as is needed.

  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 1 Tbsp cream
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 100g good quality dark chocolate, chopped (my new favourite is Old Gold ‘mildly dark’)
  • 50g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup ground roasted hazelnuts, firmly packed*
  • 1 Tbsp dutch cocoa

*If you can’t find ground hazelnuts you can just buy whole hazelnuts and pulverise them with a blender. 


  • 1 Tbs caster sugar (or to taste)
  • 3 Tsp instant coffee
  • 1 Tbs near-boiling water
  • 125g mascarpone
  • ½ cup cream, whipped to stiff peaks
  • Chocolate hazelnut spread such as Nutella
  • Extra chocolate and hazelnuts to decorate

Prepare 8″ springform tin. Preheat oven to 170C

To make torte:

Melt coffee, cream, sugar, chocolate and butter together in the microwave (medium for 1 minute, stir, repeat) or in a bain marie. Cool slightly.

Blend egg yolks and ground hazelnuts into chocolate mixture

Whip egg whites in a small bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form.

Sift cocoa over whipped whites and fold in to combine. Fold lightly into chocolate mixture, about a third at a time.

Spoon into prepared tin. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until cooked. Cool in tin for 5 minutes. Place a piece of baking paper onto a wire rack before turning torte out. Serve upside down as the surface will be smoother.

To make topping:

Dissolve sugar and coffee in the water. Combine with mascarpone until smooth.

Gently combine with the whipped cream until thick and smooth.

To assemble:

Once completely cool, cover the top of the torte with a thin layer of Nutella. Spoon over the coffee mascarpone topping and spread out evenly. Top with grated chocolate and roughly chopped hazelnuts.

Published in: on January 2, 2012 at 9:41 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I made it again! For my parents this time – they loved it.

  2. Joy! I’m on the lookout for good gluten-free recipes, as my wife is not actually gluten intolerant, but intolerant to wheat. So gluten-free covers it pretty well.

    If your friend is looking for a really good gluten free bread mix, there is a brand called Simply Wize, which is the closest thing to real bread we’ve found so far.

  3. […] so I kind of cheated with these. Remember my Hazelnut Mocha Torte from a few posts ago? Well this is it again, but in cupcake form; and with a different frosting. […]

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