I started baking mostly because BKBF inspired me to give it a go. But since I have gotten sorta obsessive about it (try to bake something every week) he has sorta stopped baking altogether. I know it is something he likes to do so I feel terrible about taking it away from him. So a few weeks ago, I asked if he wants to make something for me to blog and he agreed.
People who know me think of me as a bit of an uptight person who is very particular about many things. When it comes to baking I like to be accurate in measurements and processes. That being said, I am open to substitutions and some creative laziness when I deem it necessary. In BKBF’s eyes I am some sort of slapdash slob. That is perspective for ya.
It caused him some level of distress when we couldn’t find hazelnut paste in the chocolate spread recipe, he was ready to get a jar of nutella for it. I insisted we try to make the spread but using nut butter in its place and he hated substituting especially for a first time try to recipe. Come to think of it, I think maybe that’s why we don’t bake together. We always end up fighting over some process I think are totally fine and he thinks is blasphemy. When I get flustered because I want everything to be homemade he would say we could have just gotten them at the store and not stressed about it.
The original recipe uses 2 x 18cm/7″ tins. We have 6″ or 8″ and opted for the 8″ so they aren’t quite as high as they should be. If you use a smaller tin you should get more height. This cake, incidentally, does not contain flour so that should make it maybe gluten free? It is mostly made out of chocolate and hazelnut so make sure you get nice quality of both. The cake taste like a brownie. A small slice is all I can manage in one sitting, which is fine I guess? It is definitely a sharing cake.
Would I have BKBF bake again? Maybe. He used to make macarons! He refuse to make them now for some reasons. I mean, they are a pain in the ass to make and super finicky. I guess I understand his reluctance?
Recipe adapted from A New Way of Cooking with Chocolate
For Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
150 Hazelnut butter
50g Icing Sugar
80g Dark Chocolate
25ml Flavourless Oil*
To make the Chocolate Hazelnut Spread:
1. Mix hazelnut butter and sugar till smooth.
2. Melt Chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Remove from heat, if using oil, trickle the oil into the melted chocolate. Then beat the nut paste into the chocolate and chill for an hour before use.
*Because I am using nut butter which is a bit more oily than a nut paste, I skipped the oil. The result is that my spread will need warming up before it will, well, spread. It is very thick and non spreadable if using in room temperature. So note that if you don’t want to add oil.
For the Chocolate Cake
185g Dark Chocolate
6 Large Eggs, seperated
185g Ground Hazelnuts
To decorate the cake:
100g Dark Chocolate
100ml Whipping Cream
50g White chocolate
To make the Chocolate Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 180°c/356°f. Grease and line 2 x 18cm Round cake tins.
2. Melt Chocolate the usual way, over a pan of hot water. You probably shouldn’t do it any other way. Once melted, set aside to let it cool down a bit.
3. In a clean bowl free of oil residues, beat Egg white to soft peaks. Since you are beating only egg white without sugar, watch very closely and do not overbeat! If you overbeat egg white it will separate into a sad mess and cannot be saved!
4. Gently fold the ground hazelnut into egg white.
5. With an electric mixer, beat Yolk and sugar till thick and pale. Drizzle in the warm melted chocolate WHILE the mixer is running. Just in case it is still too hot.
6. Fold egg white mix into the yolk batter gently. 1/3 by 1/3.
7. Divide batter equally into the two tins. Bake for 20 minutes on the middle rack until your toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool.
To assemble the cake:
1. If making the decorating spread, melt dark chocolate, whisk in cream. Melt white chocolate as well.
2. Put a thick layer of chocolate hazelnut spread in between the two layers. I sprinkled some extra hazelnut in between them.
3. The original recipe calls for a chocolate and white chocolate ganache type spread on top. We put the dark chocolate spread on top and I felt that there is enough chocolate (I know!) and skipped the white chocolate and sprinkled extra hazelnuts on top instead.