Chocolate and Hazelnuts Italian cake (torta Gianduia)

Chocolate and Hazelnuts Italian cake (torta Gianduia)

By 29/09/2014

I feel it's time to be naughty, time for a proper treat.  A rich, dark and luxurious Gianduia cake is what I had my thoughts on for quite a while.

It's origins are in the mountainous region of Piedmont which lies at the foot of the Alps and produces among many good things, truffles and wild mushrooms. Piedmont's hazelnuts are also considered of a very high quality, renowned for their long shelf life, aroma and flavour which is retained even after roasting.

Gianduia cake is made using mainly hazelnuts and chocolate. Make sure you use top quality ingredients; especially the chocolate which should be at least 75% cocoa content.

I have seen many recipes adding Nutella which is an industrial product never as good as a pure dark chocolate and good quality hazelnuts. It would spoil the purity and elegant flavour of your baking.

Use organic butter if you can. It will ultimately make a difference to the taste of this fabulous cake.

  • Prep Time : 20 minutes
  • Cook Time : 45 minutes



Cut the chocolate into small pieces and place in a ceramic bowl; melt over a sauce pan of simmering water. Add the melted butter, the sugar, the vanilla essence and liquor. Stir then add the hazelnut flour, the flour, the egg yolks and mix well.

adding hazelnuts

Whip the egg whites to a very firm consistency and gently incorporate them to the mixture. Don't worry if the mixture is runny. Pour it in a well greased baking tray.

runny consistency

Cook at 160 C for about 45 minutes. Check with a toothpick if the cake is cooked and if it is still wet inside leave it for a little longer.

Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool down before removing it from the baking tray.

Make the chocolate ganache by melting the chocolate over a saucepan of simmering water with the cream and the icing sugar. Then pour it on the cake.

Chocolate hazelnut cake

Decorate with the whole hazelnuts and add a sprinkle of cocoa powder.

Chocolate hazelnut cake

Chocolate hazelnut cake

I am entering this to Bake of The Week hosted by Casa Costello and into Tasty Tuesdays hosted by "Honest Mum".

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (12 votes, average: 2.83 out of 5)

19 Responses to Chocolate and Hazelnuts Italian cake (torta Gianduia)

  1. Louise

    Hi Alida,
    Wow! That is one gorgeous looking chocolate cake!!! I totally agree with using “real” ingredients for such a traditional and localized recipe. It just isn’t the same if the ingredients are “fooled” with. This is just the type of cake I would make for a special occasion. I had better save it:)

    Thank you so much for sharing, Alida…

  2. la cucina di Molly

    Mamma mia Alida che torta stupenda, con nocciole e cioccolato è molto golosa, bravissima! Devo provarla! Un abbraccio!

  3. gloria

    Look beautiful ALida!!

  4. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Dear Alida,
    So glad to see this chocolate cake on your post! How divine especially with the hazelnuts. I love them and like the flavor of the rum or brandy that you added. Your chocolate ganache looks amazing! One of my favorite things is to see the ganache flowing down over the cake. So decadent, but yummy! I agree that you need to use the best ingredients you can find for this cake and many other foods. It really does taste so much better. Thank you for sharing this delicious cake… Charles Dickens once said, “There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate” Have a great week…
    Dottie 🙂

  5. Catherine

    Dear Alida, A beautiful and elegant cake. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

    • Alida

      Grazie cara. Bacioni ciao!

  6. Heledd - Running in Lavender

    This sounds and looks like a very decadent, rich, beautiful chocolate cake. Which is, in my opinion as all Chocolate cakes should be. Beautiful cake, that has literally made my mouth water. #TastyTuesday

    • Alida

      Thank you!

  7. Kate - Gluten Free Alchemist

    What a perfect cake. Ground hazelnuts with chocolate give such a rich, decadent experience. A tot of brandy adds to the perfection! Yum!

  8. My Family Ties

    Wow this sounds like the perfect afternoon treat with a cup of tea! Great recipe #tastytuesdays

    • Alida

      Thank you!

  9. Pingback: Pecan & Maple Brioche Rolls - Bake of the Week - Casa Costello

  10. Casa Costello

    Ooh you always excel at everything you bake – your blog is so mouthwatering, Alida! Thanks again for joining in with #Bakeoftheweek New linky now open x

    • Alida

      You are very kind Helen, I am pleased you like my baking 🙂
      I find it very relaxing especially baking cakes! Thanks for hosting x

  11. Honest mum

    This looks utterly incredible, you are a culinary genius! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

  12. Ciao Chow Linda

    I just found your blog and am so glad I did. It’s filled with wonderful recipes, including this delicious looking cake that I can’t wait to try. I loved reading about your pasta making with Giovanni Rana too. They make a great product and are a very generous company and family.

    • Alida

      Thank you so much Linda!

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