Sunday, 22 February 2009



The recipe calls for ground hazelnuts which I have never seen in those handy packs in the supermarket so I buy mine whole, then grind them in the food processor at home. I always try to buy nuts here as they have very high quality stock and a good turnover. Rancid nuts will not make a beautiful cake. Aside from this the recipe contains nothing difficult to source, is deeply chocolaty and can be put together really quickly. So grab your 20cm (8inch) round baking tin (a deep one please.) Don't have one? You know where to go. Ready? Then get baking.


  • 150g butter
  • 200g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, chopped
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 150g soft brown sugar (light muscavado though demerera would do)
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 100g ground hazelnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Butter your 20cm (8 inch) round loose-bottomed or spring-form cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
  2. Melt the butter very slowly over a low heat. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring it to melt in the hot butter. Cool.
  3. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and set aside. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until thick and pale. Be patient whisking the eggs, there are no raising agents in this cake so this is how the air will be incorporated. Add the chocolate mixture and mix well. Sprinkle in the flour and ground hazelnuts, and mix together carefully. Add the egg whites and fold together carefully to retain as much air as possible.
  4. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes or until the cake is set, but slightly wobbly in the centre. Cool in the tin. If it's not a spring-form tin stand the cake on a tin of tomatoes, or similar, and gently push down the side to unmould the cake.
  5. Serve with softly whipped fresh cream or maybe ice-cream.

Serves 8-10

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