Chocolate and hazelnut cake

Chocolate and hazelnut cake

By
From
My Favourite Ingredients
Serves
8-10
Photographer
Jason Lowe

I like to take this cake from the oven when it is still very definitely wobbly in the centre. It oozes a little when you cut into it – the soft, fluid dense chocolate in the middle is my favourite bit, eaten with a spoonful of rich, thick buttercup yellow cream. It is delicious warm or cold. You can even keep it in the fridge for a couple of days – the texture will be firmer in the centre, but it still tastes good.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
375g unsalted butter, plus extra to grease
75g plain flour, plus extra to dust
60g shelled hazelnuts
375g good-quality dark chocolate (minimum 64% cocoa solids)
9 organic free-range eggs, separated
300g caster sugar
pinch sea salt
icing sugar, to dust

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Butter and flour a 26cm round cake tin. Spread the hazelnuts out on a baking tray and put them in the warm oven for 3–4 minutes, just to tickle out their flavour. Let cool slightly, then rub in a cloth to remove the skins. Grind the nuts, using a pestle and mortar or blender, leaving the texture slightly uneven – this makes for a more interesting cake.
  2. Chop both the chocolate and the butter into small chunks and place in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water to melt. Don’t stir until the very end, just let them melt together slowly. Once melted, stir once or twice to combine and remove from the heat. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until pale and thick. Pour in the melted chocolate and stir gently to combine. Sift the flour over the surface and add the ground nuts. Fold in lightly until evenly combined.
  4. Place the egg whites in a very clean bowl with the salt. Whisk, slowly to begin with until the whites have broken down, then more quickly until soft peaks form. Carefully fold into the chocolate mixture and pour into the prepared cake tin.
  5. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 40–50 minutes or until just set, but still wobbly in the centre. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cold, dusted with icing sugar.
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