Tante Marie's Hazelnut Torte (Filbert Torte) Christmas Baking with SusieJ

Measurements [metric]

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbs cold water
  • Either:
    • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
    • 5 Zwieback, ground (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 lb hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Whipped cream filling

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbs sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

While the oven is preheating, spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast for five or six minutes, shaking once midway through.

Beat egg yolks until foamy with 1 cup sugar. Add cold water and continue to beat.

Add bread crumbs (or Zwieback), nuts and baking powder, and mix.

Beat whites (and cream of tartar, if using) until stiff and fold into nut mixture.

Grease and flour two 9" pans and place wax paper or parchment paper circles into the bottom of the pans. Pour batter into pans.

Bake 25 mins. Allow to cool. Remove from pans when cold.

Beat heavy cream until peaks form; add vanilla and 1 tbs sugar to sweeten. Frost and fill with sweetened whipped cream, leaving the sides bare.

I use a bit more whipped cream than my aunt. If I'm feeling particularly ambitious, I'll cut each layer in half to make four layers, whip an extra half-cup of cream and fill between all four laters.

Aunt Gertrude, Tante Marie's middle daughter, serves this each year at Christmas when the whole family — about fifty of us -- gathers for eggnog, cookies, cake, presents and a visit from Santa Claus. She serves two tortes, two chocolate rolls, and a dozen varieties of cookies. The menu hasn't changed in 20 or 30 years and I like it that way!

When I've served this cake at parties, guests have followed me from the kitchen to be sure they got one of the first pieces.

"Filbert" is another name for hazelnut.