Chocolate and hazelnut torte

A dark, dense chocolate tray bake with a satisfyingly crumbly biscuit base, courtesy of Flour Station

Some call it a curse—but when a large slice of your professional life involves writing about cakes, having Meghan Trainor’s All About the Base stuck in your head is a blessing. After all, when it comes to baking, it really is.

About the base, that is, for it is where it all begins. Eat a tart with a soggy bottom and your heart will sink like a skyscraper on marshland. A chocolate torte is only as fine as the foundations on which it rests.

“About the base” we sang to ourselves, as we approached The Flour Station and enquired politely about their chocolate and hazelnut torte. “It is amazing,” said Alice simply. “Because, unlike a brownie, it has a biscuit base so it’s crunchy,” she continues, as we mentally tick boxes, “and that works really well with the fudgy mixture on top.”

Dense melange of sweetness
Alice quietly likens this mixture to Nutella—which is no bad thing: everyone loves it, and this is next level Nutella anyway. It’s dark, robust and ever so slightly grainy, thanks to salted caramel cutting through the dense melange of sweetness.

“The salted component, the bits of hazelnut on top, the crunchy biscuit—it’s delicious!” Alice exclaims of the tray’s triptych of textures, ticking another crucial box on the base assessment form. The secret to this bass-line crunch is demerara sugar, the trump card of crumbles, biscuits and, of course, cheesecake base.

Serve at your discretion. Alice’s mum, who is particularly partial, heats hers up and eats it with ice cream. It sounds delicious, but as every inch of it is perfect from the bottom to the top, those in the office will doubtless enjoy it for what it is.