Chocolate & Hazelnut Cake – The Hairy Bikers
Reading time 7 minutes
A sumptuous-looking cake from The Hairy Bikers makes the perfect tea-time treat.
- 250g whole blanched hazelnuts
- 200g butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
- 200g Fairtrade dark chocolate, broken into squares
- 6 RSPCA Assured medium eggs, separated
- 200g Fairtrade caster sugar, preferably golden
- 3 tbsp Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
- or Amaretto (or fresh orange juice)
- 150g Nutella chocolate and hazelnut spread
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 5. Put the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast them in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes, giving the pan a shake every 5 minutes, until they are golden brown. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn. Remove and leave them to cool for a few minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4.
- Butter a 23cm spring-clip cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Place 200g of the hazelnuts in a food processor and blend them until they are fairly finely ground. You need them to be fine enough to hold the other ingredients as the cake cooks but leave a few coarser pieces to add texture. If you blend the nuts to the consistency of fine breadcrumbs, they should work a treat. Set the remaining nuts aside.
- Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it above a pan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally and as soon as nearly all the chocolate has melted, remove the bowl from the pan and continue to let the chocolate melt in the residual heat. Stir in the ground hazelnuts and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
- Beat the egg yolks and sugar together with an electric hand-whisk for at least 5 minutes until pale and creamy, then stir into the chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined. Wash and dry the beaters well. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form – they are ready when you can turn the bowl upside down without the eggs sliding out. Do not over-whisk.
- Working quickly, stir the Frangelico, Amaretto or orange juice into the chocolate mixture to soften. Add a couple of tablespoonfuls of the whisked egg white and stir until thoroughly combined, then gently fold in the remaining egg white. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is well risen and feels firm.
- Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes. Undo the spring-clip and invert the cake on to a serving plate, then peel off the lining paper and leave it to cool completely. When the cake is cold, spread it with the Nutella and sprinkle with the hazelnuts you set aside – these can be whole or chopped as you prefer.