I love this cake. Rich, decadent and completely addictive, it is one of the easiest cakes I have ever made and also one of the most impressive. The toasted hazelnuts give a wonderful ‘toasty’ undertone, but you can use ground, toasted pecans, almonds or pistachios (or a combination of nuts) instead — just take your pick!
- melted butter, to grease
- 200 g roasted and peeled hazelnuts
- 250 g good-quality dark chocolate (54% cocoa), chopped
- 185 g unsalted butter, cubed
- 40 g (⅓ cup) cocoa powder, sifted
- 60 ml (¼ cup) strong, freshly brewed coffee
- 6 eggs, at room temperature (55-60g)
- 275 g (1¼ cups) caster sugar
- icing sugar or cocoa powder, to sprinkle
- ice-cream, cream or fresh berries, to serve
Step 1 Preheat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan-forced). Grease a 22 cm spring form tin with the melted butter and line the base with non-stick baking paper. Place the tin on a lined baking tray.
Step 2 Process the hazelnuts in a food processor using the pulse button until finely ground. Set aside.
Step 3 Combine the chocolate, butter and cocoa powder in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the base of the bowl touch the water). Cook, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the coffee. Set aside.
Step 4 Use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar until just combined. Use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold in the chocolate mixture, then fold in the ground hazelnuts.
Step 5 Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the centre has a slight wobble when the pan is shaken gently. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan on a wire rack (about 2½ hours). Serve sprinkled with icing sugar or cocoa powder and accompanied by cream, ice-cream and berries.
Baker’s tips: This cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature to serve.
Source: Recipe by Anneka Manning. Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O’brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish. Creative concept by Lou Fay.