Thursday, March 18, 2010
Flourless Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake
I've just realised something. At our house, we do not only have one Bill Granger cookbook, not even two. We have FIVE! Goodness me. I was searching for the recipe for this cake that I baked a while ago and it took me forever because I had to flip through all of them. Of course the recipe was in the last one I looked at. Typical. Granger must be onto something good if he has persuaded various members of our family to spend all that cash on pretty much every book he has ever written.
Flourless cakes are fantastic because they are packed with flavour. No morsel of taste is lost on plain flour, instead the hazelnut meal creates a dense, moist and rich cake that is a serious winner. I'm not sure if I have told you this before, but there is nothing I dislike more in the food world than Sponge Cake. Gross. It is always so dry and sticks to the roof of your mouth and in your teeth and ew ew ew. Not a fan. It reminds me of those stale cakes that you see on the tables at the end of a Grandparent's afternoon tea or picnic, around five o'clock when the air has dried it out so much that the ants don't even want a bar of it. I always had sorbet birthday cakes as a kid because I would never eat the sponge. You wouldn't eat a sea sponge would you? So why on earth would you eat something that looks, tastes and is named after one? I have no idea.
Anyway, enough ranting. This cake is the antithesis of the sponge. It lasts forever without drying out and is so rich it will satisfy your chocolate cravings for days to come. Dust a bit of icing sugar, pile up some fresh raspberries and you are good to go! Give your Granny a slice of this and she will forget all about sponge.
Flourless Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake:
Inspired by Bill Granger's 'Holiday' Cookbook
200g dark chocolate, chopped
125g unsalted butter
225g brown sugar
100g hazelnut meal (ground hazelnuts)
5 eggs separated
1 tablespoon sifted icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm spring-form pan (make sure you use baking parchment because mine stuck to the pan, thus we can to cut it out in quarters)
Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (making sure the base of the bowl is not touching the water or the chocolate might burn). Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter have melted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Add the sugar and hazelnut meal to the melted chocolate and stir until there are no lumps. Add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring well after each addition. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until firm peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until firm. Leave to cool completely in the tin before removing the sides of the tin. Dust the top with icing sugar and serve with raspberries and fresh cream.