Torta Regina

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This flavorful cake is very light, so it can easily handle the addition of both ice cream (Caramel or Hazelnut) and the Orange Custard Sauce. It can also be eaten plain in the afternoon with espresso or a glass of Vin Santo.

Ingredients

  • ounces hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
  • ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • ½ cup sugar

A 9-inch round cake pan

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper.

Put the hazelnuts, chocolate, and lemon and orange zests in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Finely grind the mixture using on-off pulses. Set aside.

Combine the egg yolks and ¼ cup of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. With the whisk attachment, whip on high speed for about 3 minutes, until slightly increased in volume. Decrease the speed to low and stir in the ground nut mixture. The batter will be very stiff.

Put the egg whites in a separate bowl of an electric mixer. With the clean whisk attachment, whip on medium speed until frothy. Increase to high speed and whip the whites until soft peaks form. Continuing to whip, add the remaining cup sugar, and whip the whites until stiff.

Fold one-half of the egg whites into the batter. When they are almost completely incorporated, fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for about 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool the cake and then unmold it.

Serve the cake with caramel or hazelnut ice cream and orange custard sauce.

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