Sunday, 7 June 2015

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

It's really hard to find hazelnuts at the moment! I have no idea why, but I do know that I struggled to find even whole hazelnuts, nevermind ground hazelnuts. And so I am very grateful that I recently bought myself 'n new food processor that includes a coffee grinder attachment.

I made this cake out of Bake it by Murdoch Books. Instead of the vanilla cream suggested in their recipe, I decorated it with chocolate ganache and more hazelnuts (since I had more than enough left - I could only find a 1kg pack). My mom's signature chocolate cake gets a slab of whole nut chocolate melted on top, and I wanted to recreate that effect here. In part because it tastes divine, and in part because it reminds me of one of my favourite ladies.

My batter became very thick (I maaaay have forgotten to add the melted chocolate at the right stage, so that could be it) so folding in the egg whites at the end was very tricky, and it came out a little dense; or perhaps it's because my home-ground hazelnuts were too coarse. For whatever reason, I wasn't quite happy with the outcome so I brushed it with some coffee syrup after it had cooled (I imagine it would be even better if you do it when hot).

Having said that, an imperfect chocolate hazelnut cake is still a CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT CAKE so, you know.

Low Carb Chocolate Hazelnut Cake


  • 150g dark chocolate (the higher the cocoa content, the lower the carbs)
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 5 eggs, seperated
  • 150g sweetener (e.g. xylitol)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 200g ground hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup (40g) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 1/4 cup sweetener (e.g. xylitol)
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee (optional; leave out or replace with a dash of vanilla essence or liquor of your choice)
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp sweetener (e.g. xylitol) or to taste - the very dark chocolate makes for a bitter ganache, so I opted to sweeten it a bit
  • 1/2 cup cream


  1. Preheat oven to 160oC
  2. Grease a small cake pan and line with baking parchment
  3. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, over hot water or in the microwave in 30-60 second bursts
  4. Cream the butter and sweetener for the cake in a food processor until smooth
  5. Add the egg yolks one by one, mixing after each
  6. Mix in the melted chocolate
  7. In a seperate bowl, whisk or sift together the remaining ingredients
  8. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, and mix well (using a paddle attachment or wooden spoon)
  9. In a seperate, clean bowl or mixer, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks
  10. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in two batches, as gently as possible
  11. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes, until a knife comes out clean
  12. In the meantime, mix all the ingredients for the syrup until the sweetener is melted
  13. When the cake comes out of the oven, allow to cool a little then turn out onto the serving platter (because once you've moistened it, it will be very hard to move without breaking it)
  14. Pour the syrup over the hot cake (or brush with a pastry brush if you prefer) and allow to cool completely
  15. Melt the ingredients for the ganache together (double boiler, hot water, or in microwave bursts). You can stop when the chocolate starts melting into the cream, and finish the process simply by stirring until fully melted
  16. Spread the slightly cooled ganache over the cake, allowing it to drip over the sides. Optionally, you can spread half the ganache, then add a handful of whole, toasted hazelnuts to the rest of the chocolate before topping the cake with it

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