The unique combination of rich, dark chocolate with tart dried cranberries is sure to become a new favorite. Finish the cake with dusting of confectioners’ sugar and serve it with vanilla bean ice cream.
Spread the nuts on a small, shallow pan and toast until slightly darkened and fragrant, 8–10 minutes. (If using hazelnuts, pour the warm nuts onto paper towels and rub between your palms to remove most of their papery skins.) Let the nuts cool, then transfer to a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over (but not touching) barely simmering water in a saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally, just until melted, then remove from the heat and let cool.
In a large bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until light. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the chocolate and mix until smooth. Add the flour and ground nuts and mix just until blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold in
Using a knife, loosen the torte from the pan sides. Invert a serving plate on the pan and, holding both, invert them together to release the torte. Release and remove the pan sides, lift off the pan bottom, and peel off the parchment. Let cool to room temperature. Just before serving, using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into wedges and serve.
© 2011 All rights reserved. Published by Weldon Owen.