10 tablespoons margarine or frozen oil*
1 cup whole hazelnuts (filberts), peeled (4 oz)
1 3/4 cup sugar, divided
6 whole eggs, separated
4 egg whites
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon potato starch
Preheat oven to 3500. Grease a 10” springform pan and set aside.
Spread hazelnuts on a sheet pan pan and toast in the oven for 15 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from oven and peel. Set aside and let cool.
For the cake batter:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream margarine and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, beating well after each addition. Add melted chocolate and beat until combined. Set aside.
In a clean mixer bowl, combine the 6 egg whites and salt. Beat until soft peaks form. Fold one third of the egg whites into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining whites. Pour into prepared pan and bake 25 minutes.
While the cake is baking, prepare meringue. Combine hazelnuts, chopped chocolate and potato starch in a small bowl and set aside.
Beat remaining 4 egg whites until frothy. Slowly add remaining 1 cup sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in hazelnut mixture.
Remove cake from oven. Using an offset spatula, spread meringue mixture on top of cake and return to oven. Bake until meringue is crisp and lightly browned, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen edges with spatula and release sides of pan. Let cool about 30 minutes before serving.
Cake can be made one day in advance. The cake can be frozen but the meringue will change its texture.