Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake18
I don’t know anyone out there that doesn’t enjoy a great piece of gluten free chocolate hazelnut cake. But as all self-respecting chocoholics know, not all flourless chocolate hazelnut cakes were created equal -- in sugar and fat content, as well as taste. Now some of you fellow chocoholics might be willing to drown your snout in the toxic trough in order to feed your addiction. I, on the other hand, like to feed my gluten free chocolate hazelnut cake addiction without getting sick. This flowerless chocolate hazelnut cake strikes a healthy balance, and doesn’t put a kink in your gut! This gluten free chocolate cake is not the richest or most decadent on offer. But that is what I love about it. It is not too rich, or too sweet, and you can afford to have more than once piece without feeling guilty. The chocolate you use for this recipe will determine the personality of your cake.
I don’t know about you, but I think hazelnuts were always meant to be in the trough with chocolate. It is just a match made in heaven; a sublime combination that never disappoints. But the only chocolate that gets into bed with hazelnuts is the top shelf variety. I have used used Green and Black’s, Dagoba and Lindt 70% Cocoa Chocolate and that yielded a chocolate hazelnut cake with a slightly bitter flavour that I liked. Most people will want to add a few extra Tablespoons of agave to sweeten this merger. Then it is perfect. I have found 80% Cocoa Dark Chocolate is too bitter for the average snout. My mum used a chocolate with slightly less cocoa, and a bit more sweetener, and it was just right. Standard dark cooking chocolate works really well too, cause let’s be honest, organic chocolate can get really expensive. Having said that, I recently tried this cake with the Loving Earth raw, dairy free, dark chocolate sweetened with agave, and it was absolutely sublime. But I did add in extra agave to sweeten. If you use unsweetened chocolate, add a bit more agave. If you use sweetened dark chocolate, no extra sweetener is required. Remain a slave to your addiction, keep your chocolate standards high, and the hazelnuts will thank you.
My mum clipped this fabulous recipe from the Australian magazine, Better Homes and Garden back in 2007, and made this gluten free chocolate hazelnut for all of us. The whole family were snouting with gratitude. I have modified it to make it a bit more forgiving, and your fellow pigs will be grateful now that they can stick their snout in this trough more than once. Chocolateyummo!
Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
- 1 1/8 stick of organic unsalted butter (9 Tbsp or 4.3oz/122gms) chopped at room temperature
- 7 oz / 200gms dark chocolate broken into tiny pieces
- ½ cup of strong black fair trade coffee
- 2 tsp natural vanilla extract
- 6 organic eggs separated
- 1 cup agave nectar or a little more depending on your chocolate
- 7oz /200 gms organic ground hazelnut meal
- a pinch of fine Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt
- Preheat even to 180C/350F
- Put butter, chocolate, vanilla and coffee into a saucepan on low heat, and simmer until the mixture is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Beat egg yolks with a little of the agave nectar in your stand mixer until thick and creamy. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the chocolate mixture, and gently combine.
- Turn the mixer off, and fold in the hazelnut meal until mixed well. Set aside.
- Now take the small bowl of your mixer, or use a hand blender, and beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add in the remaining agave nectar, and continue beating until the mixture is thick and glossy.
- Fold the egg whites into the cake mix and then pour into a well greased or lined cake tin.
- Pour mixture into a round 9 inch/22cm tin, and bake for approximately 1 hour, or until your skewer comes out clean – sometimes an hour and a half. Depending on where I make this cake and the personality of the oven, I will bake for an hour, check, and then cover for another half an hour.
This cake is just so moist, rich, decadent and delicious – satisfying all of my requirements for a sensational chocolate cake. You can serve this cake a multitude of ways. It is great just on its own. But if you want to jazz it up a bit, dust with organic shaved coconut and serve with a dollop of vegan cream, ice cream and strawberries. YUM! I have also served this cake at many birthday parties to rave reviews by melting dark chocolate over it to “ice it” and then covering with a huge mound of dark chocolate covered strawberries. Top with sparklers and you have yourself a chocolate party!
Adapted from a recipe in the July 2007 issue of Better Homes and Gardens and published here with their permission.
Piggy Cooking Tips
remove hazelnut skins and catch the nuts in one fell swoop
After allowing the roasted hazelnuts to cool, place them in a recycled plastic mesh bag with small holes like you buy lemons, limes or oranges in. Tie both ends and then rub the bag between your hands over the sink or trash can. All of the skins will slip through the bag leaving the whole naked treasures inside. Now that is better than the dirty tea towel approach!