Torta gianduia (hazelnut chocolate layer cake) – From Piemonte
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Categories: Kids* has nuts, Vegetarian
Torta gianduia is my husband's favourite cake and originates from his home region of Piemonte. The cake is utterly addictive and we have to fight my sons off devouring the whole thing. It is a fantastic recipe for any occasion and is perfect for entertaining guests.
Recipe type: Dolci (Dessert)
Cuisine: Piemonte
Serves: 12 servings
  1. Heat the oven to 180 C. Butter and flour a 23 cm spring-form cake pan.
  2. In a bain-marie, add the eggs and yolks , honey and the sugar. Do not add the yolks to the sugar in advance or the sugar will “cook” the yolks.
  3. Heat the bain marie over medium heat whisking constantly until the mixture reaches 45°C. Be careful not to overheat the eggs. Remove from the heat.
  4. Using a handheld mixer or a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, mix together the eggs and the sugar on high continually until the mixture has turned a light tan colour, has at least doubled in volume, has consistency like foam and when you pick up a spoonful and drop it on top it does not sink immediately back into the mixture, about 15 minutes.
  5. In a separate bowl, again in a bain-marie, melt the butter with the cognac or maraschino.
  6. When the butter has melted, remove from the heat and add the vanilla beans, stirring. Add the cooled ground hazelnuts and stir to combine.
  7. Sift together the flour, potato starch and cocoa powder.
  8. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the mixture, adding a bit first and ensuring it is well mixed in before adding the rest. Fold together to combine well. Fold in the butter hazelnut mixture being careful not to destroy the fluffiness of the egg while ensuring it is all well incorporated.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin.
  10. Bake the cake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. When cool, slide a knife around the outside of the cake next to the cake pan to release the sides. Allow to cool completely.
  11. When the cake is cool, cut in half with a wire or unflavoured dental floss. Use a piece of cardboard the size of your cake to lift the top part of the cake off. Spread the apricot jam on the bottom half of the cake.
  12. Next spread enough Nutella ganache to cover the half of the cake. Cover with the top half of the cake.
  13. Pour over the glaze over cake and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
Recipe by Living a Life in Colour at