With its lovely rich chocolate flavour and nutty texture, this moist cake is a family favourite. In Piedmont in Italy, they bake a version of this called torta gianduia, which is often served with whole roasted hazelnuts on top. This recipe, in true Bourke Street style, is a decidedly rustic form of decadence.


Serves 12

  • 330g dark chocolate (55% cocoa), chopped
  • 240g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 40g sesame seeds
  • 160g hazelnut meal
  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 240g caster sugar

Step by step

Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease a 23cm round springform pan, then line base and side with baking paper, allowing it to protrude about 2.5cm above pan.

Place chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan half-filled with simmering water (make sure bowl doesn’t touch water). Stir occasionally until melted. Remove bowl from heat. Add sesame seeds, hazelnut meal and egg yolks, and stir to combine. Set aside until required.

Using an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk eggwhites and sugar in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold in one-third of chocolate mixture until combined. Repeat with remaining chocolate mixture in 2 batches.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 55–60 minutes or until set. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

NOTE: This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.


Images and recipes from  by Paul Allam and David McGuinness (Murdoch Books, RRP $55). Available in stores nationally.