100 grams hazelnuts, roasted
¼ cup caster sugar
½ teaspoon ground mixed spice
1⅓ cups shredded coconut
1 cup desiccated coconut
7 egg whites
¾ cup caster sugar
300 ml cream
250 dark chocolate, chopped (use 72% cocoa)
2 tablespoons liqueur of choice eg Frangelico, rum, brandy, whiskey (optional)
150 ml cream, softly whipped
200 ml mascarpone
1-2 punnets fresh raspberries
¼ cup roasted hazelnuts, chopped roughly (optional)
Line 2 large flat baking trays with baking paper and draw 2 x 20cm circles on each piece.
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Tortes: Finely grind the hazelnuts, caster sugar and mixed spice in a food processor. Tip into a bowl and combine with both coconuts. Set aside.
Whisk the egg whites until frothy then gradually beat in the sugar until the meringue is very thick and glossy.
Add the coconut mixture and fold together, trying to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
Divide between the 4 circles and use a fork to spread gently and evenly.
Bake for 25 minutes until lightly golden and the tops are dry, swapping the trays halfway through cooking for even browning. Cool on the trays.
Chocolate cream: Heat the cream in a saucepan to just below boiling point. Add the chocolate and alcohol and whisk until smooth. Tip into a medium bowl and cool at room temperature. Give the chocolate a good stir.
To assemble: Remove the baking paper from the tortes. Spread the rough side of each torte with a quarter of the chocolate cream. Fold the whipped cream and mascarpone together and spread over the chocolate on 3 of the tortes. The top layer has no cream. Stack the tortes on top of each other on a cake stand, finishing with the plain chocolate layer. Garnish with fresh raspberries and hazelnuts if using, then dust with icing sugar. Serves at least 12
Cook's tip: The tortes can be made 2 days ahead. Leave on the baking paper circles and wrap well in plastic wrap then store in an airtight container.