When I invited Gavin Hughes to share a recipe on Get Forked and Fly, I must admit that I wasn’t expecting this Chocolate and Almond Torte Recipe. Plenty of times over the years I have eaten at Gavin’s table at the Byron at Byron Resort and Spa where he has been the Head Chef since it opened. From casual weekend long lunches of local produce Ploughman’s Boards to elegant Degustation evenings at immaculate long tables and of course to his popular Thursday Farmers’ Market menus which feature something new and seasonal each time – every visit has been a great dining experience.
That includes Gavin’s dessert menu, (don’t miss the house made ice cream!), so I should not have been surprised that of all the recipes Gavin could contribute he chose this Chocolate and Almond Torte Recipe. I suppose I was initially surprised because I was expecting him to share a recipe that would be challenging and maybe a bit ‘Chef-y’ if that’s a word. But this torte recipe is the opposite of that. It’s uncomplicated and achievable for home cooks and that right there is Gavin on a plate. Yes, he can amaze you with impeccable and innovative restaurant fare, but if you have had the fortune to meet the charismatic Scotsman himself, you know that he is down to earth, generous and unfussy – just like this recipe.
Gavin is also another passionate local food advocate and you are guaranteed to spy him every Thursday morning at the Byron Bay Farmers Market guiding resort guests through the market stalls and chatting with local food producers. At the end of the morning he will always have a few armfuls of produce ready to take back to the restaurant for the that evening’s Farmers’ Market menu.
Gavin is also a mad keen cyclist and a talented photographer. He will usually have his camera on hand ready to record another beautiful landscape or food experience wherever he may be. Make sure you check out his Instagram account. @gawieh
In the meantime, try making Gavin’s Chocolate and Almond Torte Recipe at home. You first make a biscuit base that is frozen in a log and grated over the cake batter just before it goes in the oven. The torte is chocolatey but not rich. There is a lightness thanks to the aerated eggs and the torte remains moisten account of the almond meal. Gavin serves his Chocolate and Almond Torte Recipe with raspberries and Amaretto cream. Raspberries were $8.50 a punnet when I made the cake so I decided to substitute with some incredible in season figs that I cooked slightly in a brown sugar and butter caramel. I served the torte with the figs and some vanilla ice cream that I had on hand but I do think the Amaretto cream would have been an incredible way to layer the almond flavours. I’ll try that next time!
- BISCUIT BASE
- 50g unsalted butter
- 50g raw sugar
- 50g almond meal
- 8g cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 40g plain flour
- CAKE MIX
- 5 large eggs
- 75g honey
- 125g caster sugar
- 75g almond meal
- 120g plain flour
- 25g cocoa powder
- 8g baking powder
- 120ml double cream
- 70g 70% chocolate
- 75g unsalted butter
- Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
- Grease and line a 22cm round cake tin.
- Add the biscuit base ingredients to the bowl of a mixer and beat until the ingredients come together.
- Roll the raw biscuit base into an oblong shape, wrap in cling film and freeze.
- To make the Cake Mix, beat the eggs, honey and caster sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the mix is light and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl combine the almond meal, plain flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Add this to the cake mix along with 120ml of double cream and stir gently to combine.
- Melt the chocolate and unsalted butter over a low heat. Fold this through the cake mix.
- Pour the cake mix into your greased and lined cake tin.
- Take your raw biscuit base out of the freezer and grate a generous amount over the cake mix.
- Bake the torte in the pre-heated oven for around 40 minutes.
- Allow to cool and serve the torte with fresh raspberries, mint sprigs and Amaretto Cream.
- Amaretto is a sweet, almond-flavoured, Italian liqueur. To make Amaretto Cream whip some Amaretto liqueur with fresh cream.