Chocolate & Hazelnut Torta Caprese
Recipe type: Cake
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8 slices
For the cake:
  • 180g dark (70%) chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) light olive oil** (or use a flavourless cooking oil instead)
  • 1 tbs Galliano or Frangelico
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 21/2 cups (250g) hazelnut meal*
  • 3 tsp good-quality cocoa, to dust
  • Mascarpone, to serve
For the red-wine roasted strawberries
  • 500g strawberries, hulled
  • 1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) red wine
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
For the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Grease a 20cm springform cake pan and line the base and side with baking paper.
  2. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, stirring occasionally (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water).
  3. Stir in olive oil and liqueur, then set aside to cool.
  4. Place egg yolks and sugar in a stand mixer with paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until pale and creamy. Reduce speed to low and beat in hazelnut meal, then chocolate mixture. Transfer to a large bowl.
  5. Place egg whites and a pinch of salt flakes in the cleaned mixer bowl. Using the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites to stiff peaks.
  6. Using the paddle attachment and on low speed, add chocolate mixture and beat until just combined. The mixture will be firm so mix slowly (I actually added in a good dollop of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture first to slacken the mixture first before slowly beating in the remainder of the whites as per the recipe).
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until top is slightly cracked and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out with moist crumbs attached. It should have a slight wobble.
  8. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the red-wine roasted strawberries:
  1. For roasted strawberries, increase oven to 180°C.
  2. Place strawberries in a large bowl, add sugar and red wine. Add vanilla pod and seeds.
  3. Place mixture into a baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until strawberries are soft, then cool to room temperature.
To assemble the cake:
  1. Dust cake with cocoa powder. Serve with mascarpone and strawberries and drizzle over with the strawberry juice.
*If you can't source hazelnut meal, buy raw hazelnuts and make the meal yourself. Simply roast the nuts at 160 Celsius (320F) for 10-12 minutes, let cool, then process the nuts, skin and all, until it resembles a coarse meal (don't take it too far or it will become a nut butter).
**Light olive oil is flavourless - don't use Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as this is too strongly flavoured. As a substitute, use a flavourless vegetable oil instead.
Recipe by The Kiwi Cook at