I promised in my post last week to do a flourless chocolate cake, and this honestly goes down as the best thing I’ve made since Project Pastry began.
I looked at loads of recipes for flourless chocolate cakes and found the following key ingredients:
- Eggs – separated or whole, eggs are generally whisked to add lightness and height to the cake
- Ground nuts – almond meal was most common, but there was also ground hazelnuts and pistachios which create stability and act as a flour substitute. They also add flavour.
- Melted chocolate and butter – for flavour and moisture
- Flavour enhancers – including vanilla, liqueurs (e.g. Frangelico) and coffee
- Fruit purée – not always, but I did come across date and prune purées which I’m guessing provide both moisture and flavour
The methods were pretty similar across the board as well, and usually comprised several steps.
First, the eggs (or egg whites) were whisked until light and fluffy. Chocolate and butter is melted together and then added to the egg mix once cooled. Dry ingredients are sifted together and then added to the batter. And that’s it!
It looks like a few processes, but it was all very simple and straightforward.
I decided to add some crushed hazelnuts as well as ground hazelnuts to mine for a bit of added crunch.
The result is an extremely rich, fudgy, delicious cake – the friend I served it to said it was the best thing she’d even eaten and I think I’d have to agree.
Please give it a go and let me know what you think!
Incredible flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake
200g good quality dark chocolate
½ cup water
25-30 ml shot espresso
3 egg yolks
120g brown sugar
200g hazelnut meal
100g hazelnuts, crushed
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
Make the date purée by simmer the water and dates over a low heat until the dates are soft (around 8-10 minutes). Push through a sieve, then set aside to cool.
Melt the butter over a medium heat and stir in the chocolate. Remove from the heat and mix until the chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool
Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, salt and sugar for around 5-7 minutes until the mixture is a ribbon consistency.
Pour in the chocolate and butter mixture, then add the date puree and hazelnut meal. Fold in the hazelnuts, then pour into a greased springform tin.
Bake for 45 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan.
Once completely cooled, cover in chocolate ganache.