Muddy and Crunchy…
There is something about this flourless chocolate cake that makes it so easy to disappear… Especially when you have friends over for dinner…
Flourless Chocolate-Hazelnut Cake
375 g whole hazelnuts, without the skin
375 g chocolate, good quality, 70% unsweetened, melted
375 g butter, unsalted
200 g soft brown sugar
175 g caster sugar
1 espresso shot (small cup)
2 tablespoons double cream
1 cup (250 ml) Mascarpone (a soft and mild Italian cream cheese)
vanilla ice cream (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 180℃ (350℉). Butter and grease a 26 cm, non-stick, round or square cake pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.
2. Ground hazelnut mixture: Roast the hazelnuts in the oven, for about 10 minutes — until they colour. Cool. Place the nuts in a food processor and grind until they have the consistency of breadcrumbs.
3. Chocolate-hazelnut mixture: Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (double boiler). Note: if you do not have a bain-marie, no problem. Simply boil water in a large pot and place a smaller pot in the boiling water. Put the chocolate in the smaller pot and slowly melt it. Fold the ground hazelnuts mixture into the melted chocolate.
4. Batter: In a large bowl add the butter and both sugars and whisk — using an electric mixer — until pale in colour and fluffy in texture. Add the eggs one by one, whilst whisking, alternating each egg with spoonfuls of the chocolate-hazelnut mixture.
5. Pour the batter into the greased, floured and parchment-lined cake pan. Bake for 1 hour.
The top of the cake should be set when you insert a skewer into the centre and it comes out clean. (The cake settles as it cools)
6. While the cake is still warm, pierce the top all over with a skewer (toothpick) and sprinkle the top with the espresso shot. Allow the cake to cool completely while in the pan.
7. In a small bowl, fold the Mascarpone into the double cream until smooth.
Serve the cake with a generous spoonful of this mascarpone cream or alternatively, with vanilla ice cream.