Chocolate hazelnut cake

Chocolate hazelnut cake

Torta alla nocciola

By
From
Sharing Puglia
Serves
6
Photographer
Alicia Taylor

In our travels around Puglia, Vivienne and I visited many restaurants and this cake was served to us numerous times. The flavour varied slightly from place to place, indicating each baker‘s personal touch. In this version we have toasted and caramelised the hazelnuts, which intensifies the ‘nutty’ flavour and adds crunch to the cake.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g hazelnuts
250g caster sugar
200g dark chocolate, (70% cocoa solids)
200g butter
6 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons frangelico, (optional)

Chocolate ganache

Quantity Ingredient
120g dark chocolate, chopped, (70% cocoa solids)
200ml thickened cream

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Toast the hazelnuts in the oven for 10 minutes. Transfer them to a tea towel and rub to slip off their skins.
  2. Heat 100 g of the sugar in a frying pan over medium–low heat, until it has melted. Add the hazelnuts, stirring to coat the nuts with the caramelised sugar. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, shaking the pan, until the hazelnuts are completely coated with the caramelised sugar. Pour the hazelnuts back onto the baking tray and allow to cool completely. Crush them coarsely in a food processor and set aside 3 tablespoons for garnishing the top of the cake. Continue to process the remaining hazelnuts until they are finely ground.
  3. Melt the chocolate and butter until smooth in a double boiler, then stir in the ground hazelnuts. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and remaining sugar until pale and doubled in size. Fold in the cooled chocolate and hazelnut mixture.
  5. Turn the oven up to 190°C. Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form and then fold them into the chocolate and hazelnut mixture. Stir in the Frangelico (if using). Pour the mixture into a 20 cm round cake tin lined with baking paper and bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the tin for 10 minutes and then gently remove it from the tin and allow to cool completely while you make the ganache.
  6. Put the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Warm the cream in a small saucepan over medium–low heat until almost boiling. Remove from the heat and pour on top of the chocolate. Leave to melt for a few minutes and then stir until shiny.
  7. When the cake is cool, spread the chocolate ganache over the top and sprinkle with the hazelnut praline. Store in an airtight container for 3–5 days.
Tags:
italy
italian
puglia
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