Hazelnut and Chocolate Cake

Hazelnuts and chocolate.  Chocolate and hazelnuts.  Whichever way you want to say it, it's one perfect marriage.

The Italians have known this secret for a long time and refer to it as "gianduia".  And let's not forget Nutella.  That rich, chocolate/hazelnut spread.   I have seen people go crazy over Nutella.  Prior to living on my own I shared with a number of people who interestingly had this chocolate and hazelnut addiction!

One room mate ate a block of this chocolate mixture a day and the other would wake up in the middle of the night and eat a tablespoon of Nutella in her sleep!  I kid you not.

I've tried to pay a little homage today to that famous marriage by baking a buttery cake and topping it with hazelnuts and then smothering it with a  chocolate ganache and topping it again with more hazelnuts and a few chocolate curls or "sprinkles".  I originally had envisioned a "runnier" ganache but of course I tried to rely on memory and added cold pouring cream to melted chocolate instead of adding warmed cream to the chocolate pieces!  Never mind.

The ganache I ended up with allowed me to spread it over the top and was a much thicker consistency.

It's very similar to a chocolate cake recipe I featured last year (minus the olive oil).

What I had envisioned in this perfect marriage of ingredients was the "perfect bite".  Hazelnuts-chocolate-hazelnuts without it being too overwhelming.

And speaking of chocolate, I was very fortunate to be given my cooking chocolate by Lindt Australia.  These people are amazing and I was finally excited to see a cooking chocolate provided by them in their new line up of products.  It's available in supermarkets and I urge you all to try some in your kitchen.

Hazelnut and Chocolate Cake Recipe
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Peter G
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
A buttery cake topped with hazelnuts and chocolate. (adapted from Pam Talimanidis’s A La Grecque: Our Greek Table)
Ingredients
  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 300 grams of brown sugar
  • 240 grams of plain flour
  • 130 grams of unsalted butter, roughly chopped
  • 240 ml of thickened cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 200-230 grams of roasted hazelnuts
  • FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
  • 200 grams of Lindt cooking chocolate-chopped into small pieces
  • 250 ml of pouring cream
Instructions
  1. Pre heat your oven to 180 deg C and grease and line a 23cm spring form cake tin
  2. In a food processor combine the sugar, flour and butter. Proceed to pulse the mixture until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Spread one third of this mixture into the bottom of the cake tin.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the cream, eggs and baking powder. Fold in the remaining flour mixture and stir until well combined.
  5. Pour into the cake tin and top with 3/4 of the roasted hazelnut mixture
  6. Bake for 40-50 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle part of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Whilst the cake is cooling make the ganache by heating your cream in a heavy based saucepan until it starts to boil. Remove from the heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Allow to cool a little (or a lot, if you prefer it thicker) and pour over the cake. Top with more hazelnuts and sprinkle over hot chocolate flakes for an extra decorative touch.
  8. Serve with Greek yoghurt.
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