Chocolate Macadamia Nut Torte

January 4, 2008 | Chuck
Chocolate Macadamia Nut Torte
(For more pictures, see the slideshow)

I never use nuts in my chocolate desserts. I wouldn't dare put them in our chewy chocolate chunk cookies or in our brownies. Call me nutty, but I like to keep our chocolate desserts pure and simple.

The one nut I'll make an exception for is the macadamia nut. I love the richness and creaminess of this nut. As I was flipping through some cookbooks, I stumbled upon Jamie Oliver's two-nuts chocolate torte recipe, which uses almonds and walnuts.

The recipe looked simple enough, so I used it with a few changes. The first modification was substituting macadamia nuts for the almonds and walnuts. When I walked to the local supermarket, the only macadamia nuts available were roasted and salted nuts. I figured it would be okay, since most cake recipes ask for around a teaspoon of salt. Since macadamia nuts are higher in fat content than almonds and walnuts, I cut the amount of butter. The final change was the addition of vanilla extract to enhance the chocolate flavor.

Jamie's recipe uses a 375°F baking temperature for "about 1 hour." Hmm... that seems too long at 375°F. After over-baking a couple of desserts, I've become very conscience of oven temperatures and times. I have also discovered my old oven runs 25 degrees hotter than indicated by using an oven thermometer.

With some skepticism, I threw the torte in the oven and set the timer for 40 minutes. After 35 minutes, the wonderful aroma of chocolate baking was interrupted by a burning smell. I immediately removed the torte out of the oven. The inside was fine, but the bottom edges were very slightly burnt. Damn it, Jamie! I knew the baking time was too long.

Luckily, the torte was saved just in the nick of time. Despite the over-baked edges, the torte was still good, with a nice nutty chocolate flavor. The texture is moist, dense and a little crunchy from the macadamia nuts. I will definitely make this torte again, but use a lower baking temperature of 350°F. 375°F for "about 1 hour"... bullocks!

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Torte

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Torte Recipe

Ingredients:
11 ounces salted macadamia nuts, ground
11 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 heaped teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder 
8 ounces unsalted butter 
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Salt

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom of an 8 to 10-inch springform pan with a piece of parchment paper before buttering the bottom and sides then dust with flour.

2) Place the nuts into a food processor and pulse until ground and set aside. Be careful not to over-process or you'll make macadamia butter. Add the chocolate and cocoa to processor and pulse for 30 seconds to break up the chocolate and set aside with nuts. Add the butter and sugar to the food processor and beat until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat the egg yolks in one at a time. Then by hand mix together with the chocolate and nuts.

3) In another bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate, butter and nut mix. Pour all the mixture into the cake pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. To test if the torte is cooked, insert a toothpick or the tip of a knife for 5 seconds; when removed it should be reasonably clean. Transfer to wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Serve with whipped cream, ice-cream or powdered sugar.

[Recipe adapted from The Naked Chef Takes Off by Jamie Oliver]

[tags]chocolate, macadamia, nut, torte, valrhona, semisweet[/tags]

10 Comments on “Chocolate Macadamia Nut Torte”

  1. Jennifer said:

    This looks and sounds delicious! Macadamias and chocolate are always a good combo. I usually shave several minutes off a suggested baking time for my first “check,” then go from there.

  2. This sounds very good. I am making a Brazil nut & Chocolate torte today. I hope it comes out looking like this!!!

  3. JEP said:

    OMG–this looks & sounds amazingly good! What brand of chocolate did you use?

  4. Chuck said:

    Jennifer, I figured 20 minutes early was good enough, but I should have known better.

    Gretchen, good luck with your torte. I’m sure it will turn out great!

    JEP, I used Valrhona Le Noir Gastronomie (61% cacao) chocolate and cocoa powder.

  5. Lynn said:

    This looks amazing. I think substituting macadamia nuts is inspired. Chocolate and macadamia nuts is always a wonderful combination.

  6. Anne said:

    This recipe says 8 oz of butter. I am assuming that should be 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) as each stick of butter is 1/2 a cup (4 oz.) I cannot imagine two sticks of butter in this recipe. With the oil in the nuts and fat in the chocolate, 8 oz. of butter should be enough. Right? I want to make this, but I don’t want to toss the first cake because of an error in ingredients. Any ideas? Thanks.

  7. Chuck said:

    Anne, 8 ounces (2 sticks) is the correct amount. Jamie Oliver’s original recipe called for 10 ounces of butter! So I reduced the amount of butter a fraction.

  8. Lee said:

    This recipe didn’t work for me. The macadamia nuts were very oily and I had to stop processing before they were fine enough – otherwise they seemed to be breaking down. In the cake itself they were too crunchy. I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao, and processed them making an awful racket for a couple of minutes. Still not fine enough, and in the cake the chocolate did not melt into the batter. I used the amount of butter called for – right from the refrigerator – and it was too hard. Took some time to soften. The processor does not do a great job with butter and sugar, a mixer would have been better. In a 350 oven the cake burned on the top, which gave the kitchen a burned odor and the cake a bitter after taste. Baked for an hour and was still not done in the middle. Cake had a gloppy texture.

  9. axm said:

    This recipe totally worked for me. My friends RAVED about it and took all the leftovers which to me is my measure of success. But I will admit that I really wanted to make the Chocolate Blackout Cake, but didn’t have anything to transport it to the dinner party that I was making it for so I’ll cook that when I host.
    This recipe seriously stressed me out though, because of the use of ounces rather than cups and my “food processor” is one of those hand blenders that has a very small food processor attachment, but it all worked out in the end.
    I wish I’d paid more attention to your pictures though, because that would’ve provided me some comfort with the whole process. Anyway, this is all to say “Keep up the good work” and thanks for some great recipes.

  10. aaron said:

    Aloha! My family and I loved this recipe. We used fresh crushed hawaii macadamia nuts from a local farm out here, and the recipe turned out sooo good! mahalo for this blog:)

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