Boston photographer Peter Vanderwarker gave me this fabulous recipe about 18 years ago, but I remember few of the details.
I don’t know if this was supposed to be glazed on the sides, but I never did. It’s a little rustic looking, which is fine with me, but if you prefer something more finished, make 1½ times the glaze and cover the sides.
FOR THE HAZELNUT TORTE
6 large egg whites
2 to 2½ cups toasted hazelnuts, finely ground
1 cup sugar
FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
½ cup milk
8 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an 8-inch spring-form pan.
2. To prepare the torte: Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and whip until they form stiff peaks. Fold in the nuts and sugar and pour into the prepared pan. Transfer to the oven and bake until the top is golden and the sides start to pull away from the pan, about 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. While the torte is baking, prepare the glaze: Place the butter and chocolate in a medium-size saucepan over very low heat and cook until melted. Whisk in the milk and 6 tablespoons of the confectioners’ sugar and mix well until fully incorporated. Set aside to cool.
4. Slice the torte in half and glaze both layers. Reassemble the halves. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Let warm to room temperature just before serving. Dust with the remaining 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar.
From The $50 Dinner Party: 26 Dinner Parties That Won’t Break Your Bank, Your Back, or Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, 1998)