Chocolate and Wild Hazelnut cake
Updated: May 2, 2019
The race for Hazelnuts each year is a matter of timing. Too late and those industrious squirrels will have them all and too early and the hazelnut itself is just not worth having. Hazelnuts at this time of the year are just right, some are still green and some are starting to ripen and harden, either way they are currently still there and available to make this fantastic cake.
Chocolate and Hazelnut cake
For the cake:
75g De husked and shelled Hazelnuts
150g Dark chocolate (min 70%)
90g golden caster sugar
3 eggs (Free range only)
For the ganache:
100g Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
50ml double cream
25g unsalted butter
Get the oven on to 180 degrees and butter a 20cm round cake tin (unless you have the new super duper non-stick pans I would recommend that you line the base with baking parchment as well, it also adds strength to this fragile cake when you turn it out).
Struggling to beat the squirrels to the Hazelnuts? Try growing your own Hazelnut trees.
Roast the hazelnuts in the oven for 5-10 minutes, be careful they burn easily, then cool and grind to a relatively fine mix. Place half of the chocolate and the butter in a bowl set over very gently simmering water and melt together. Remove from the heat and stir in the hazelnuts and set aside to cool. Next, separate the eggs. In a bowl beat just the egg yolks (with half the sugar) and when they look like they have some air through them and changed colour add them to the cooled chocolate and hazelnut mix.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they start to hold, spoon by spoon add the remaining caster sugar until the mixture forms soft peaks. Take a spoon of the beaten egg whites and then mix it through your chocolate’y mix, next using gently fold in the remaining egg white mixture gently folding it through (trying to keep the air within the mix). Transfer the cake mix to the tin and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until cooked and then leave to cool
The topping of this cake is a rich chocolate ganache. To make the ganache melt the chocolate, cream and butter in a bowl and then as with the chocolate gently heat over simmering water. When melted stir the mix to form the ganache.
Finally the assembly..
On your chosen serving plate or dish gently turn out the cake. A word of warning this cake is very very easy to break, be very careful. Once the cake is turned out remove the paper (again gently). Next take the now warm and thick Ganache and using a spatula gently spoon the ganache on top of the cake. You are looking to create a flat Ganache top on top of the crumbly chocolate cake. You can decorate your cake however you would like, whatever you do toast your hazelnuts gently in a pan (or in an oven) before you use them. Then you can decorate the cake by roughly chopping them and liberally sprinkling them over the top. By creating patterns with upturned Hazelnuts or even adding more chocolate to the nuts with curls or shards of chocolate.
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.. However you decorate it, whatever you do what you’ll end up with is a heavenly chocolate cake. The crumbly delicate cake base flavoured with Hazelnuts would be lovely on its own however the luxurious intensely chocolate Ganache is rich and intoxicating and the toasted Hazelnuts on top add a crunch that is so worth it.
It’s a naughty cake and you’ll only want a small slice, not because its rich, but because you’ll want to revisit this treat as many times as you can!