Flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake
- December 2016
- Serves 12-14
- Hands-on time 40 min, oven time 50-55 minutes, plus cooling
Rich, nutty and a little bit boozy – there’s no denying this flourless (gluten-free) chocolate cake is a dessert-lover’s dream.
- 36g (14g saturated)
- 27.2g (26.6 sugars)
- 300g blanched hazelnuts
- 250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- 250g unsalted butter, cubed
- 6 large free-range eggs, separated
- 250g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp amaretto
- Cocoa powder and cacao nibs to serve
You’ll also need…
- Deep 23cm diameter loose-bottomed cake tin, lightly oiled and lined with non-stick baking paper
- Heat the oven to 190ºC/170ºC fan/gas 5. Spread the hazelnuts over a baking tray and roast for 5-10 minutes until just starting to colour. Remove and cool. Set aside 50g for later, then whizz the rest to a coarse breadcrumb-like texture in a food processor. Turn the oven to 170ºC/150ºC fan/gas 3½.
- Put the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over, but not touching, a pan of gently simmering water and melt without stirring. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes, then beat in the egg yolks with a balloon whisk.
- In a large, spotlessly clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks with an electric mixer. Continue to beat, slowly adding the sugar to make a thick, glossy meringue, with all the sugar completely dissolved.
- Gently stir the whizzed hazelnuts and amaretto into the chocolate mix, then beat in 1 large spoonful of meringue. Carefully fold in the remaining meringue mixture using a metal spoon. Spoon it very quickly into the lined cake tin and bake for 50-55 minutes until risen and firm but still squidgy. Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack (right way up) to cool completely. It’s normal for a flourless cake to sink and crack a little.
- Roughly chop the served hazelnuts. Dust the cake with cocoa powder and scatter over the chopped nuts and cocoa nibs. Serve with créme fraîche.
The cake is at its best eaten on the day it’s baked but it will keep for up to 48 hours in an airtight container in the fridge.
Cacao nibs are roasted and broken up cacao beans. Their slightly bitter chocolatey, nutty flavour adds another dimension and texture to chocolate puddings. Find them in health food shops and large supermarkets.
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