Linzer Heart Torte

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  • 1 3/4 cups finely chopped, toasted hazelnuts, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 cups seedless raspberry preserves

Cream Cheese White Chocolate Icing

  • 24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces good quality white chocolate (such as Lindt)
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F; grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch heart-shape cake pans.
  2. Batter: Finely chop toasted hazelnuts in a food processor and combine 1 cup chopped nuts with dry ingredients; set aside. Reserve remaining nuts for decorating the side of the cakes.
  3. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; set aside. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until well mixed. Beat in egg yolks and extracts. Add milk, alternating with dry ingredients, beating until just combined. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites to lighten batter, then fold in remaining egg whites. Divide between the two prepared cake pans and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool pans on rack for 10 minutes, then turn out on wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Frost and decorate with preserves and Cream Cheese White Chocolate Icing.
  5. Split each cake in half, making two heart-shaped layers out of each one. A long serrated knife makes quick work of this, or you can use a piece of dental floss as a saw to split the cake in half. Prepare icing recipe below; assemble cake.
  6. Place first layer, cut side down, on the cake plate and cover with a layer of icing. Top this with a layer of raspberry preserves and top that with the second cake layer. Frost tops and sides of cake. Press remaining nuts onto sides of cakes with fingers. Leaving a 1/4-inch border on all edges, top cakes with a layer of raspberry preserves. Put remaining icing into a pastry bag and pipe a decorative icing border around top edge of cakes.
  7. Cream Cheese White Chocolate Icing: Stir white chocolate in the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, until just melted. Cool to lukewarm. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in cooled, melted white chocolate and vanilla extract; gradually beat in sugar and continue beating until smooth. Frosting should be light and spreadable. It is helpful to chill a bit before piping.

Yield: two 8- or 9-inch tortes