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Mandalas Torte

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A traditional Hungarian hazelnut torte reinvented and revamped with almonds, chocolate and raspberry.

Mandalas Torte


  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, ground to coarse crumbs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 TB all-purpose flour
  • 2 TB breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 cup seedless raspberry jam


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare 3 8” cake pans with grease, sugar and parchment. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer using the whisk attachment, beat the whites until stiff. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
  3. Back in the mixer bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale yellow. Add the vanilla and baking powder. Slowly add the almond meal, flour and breadcrumbs, and beat until just incorporated. Add the chocolate.
  4. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the sugar/flour/chocolate mixture. Divide the batter into the three cake pans.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for about 5 minutes and invert onto cooling racks to finish cooling.
  6. Just before you’re ready to assemble, beat the whipped cream and confectioner’s sugar until stiff peaks form (but not so much as to make it butter!).
  7. To assemble, set a large flat plate on a large inverted bowl or bottom of a salad spinner (of course, if you have a cake stand, use that). Place a cake layer top side up on the plate. Warm the jam in the microwave just enough to loosen it (30 seconds works for me). Using an offset spatula spread about ⅓ cup of the whipped cream in a thin layer over the first cake layer, leaving about ¼-inch border along the outside. Drizzle with about 3 TB of the warm jam and spread around.
  8. Lay the second cake layer on top, stacking it as straight as possible. Repeat the filling process. Place a third cake layer on top. Spread remaining whipped cream over the entire cake. It’s not supposed to be perfectly smooth, so don’t worry about that. Drizzle with remaining jam.
  9. Store in the refrigerator. These cake layers also freeze extremely well in case you needed to make it ahead.

Recipe Tags

Hungary is famous for its tortes, and while the multi-layered Dobos torte is the national favorite, there's more than one way to frost this cake and here is my family’s twist on the torte. It’s one of those recipes that evolved over time from my grandmother’s recipe that read something like “8 spoons of ground almonds, 8 spoons of sugar…” etc.

But…what is a “spoon”? In this case, it was a large soup spoon that grandma had that she used to measure out this particular cake. E ven as a kid I needed something more exact than that, so I measured out the conventional measure for that “spoon,” and that’s the recipe we have here today. My mom actually never did, but rather had her own “spoon” with which to measure. Turns out, as long as you use the same “spoon” to measure all the ingredients, the proportions will remain the same, and the cake will turn out just fine. While grandma first modified the traditional recipe by substituting almonds for hazelnuts, mom modified it further by adding chocolate and raspberry for a result that is no less delicious that grandma's from Hungary all those years ago.


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