Thanks to Nutella we all know that chocolate and hazelnuts go really well together. This flourless chocolate hazelnut cake is not only as delicious as it looks, it is also a lot easier to make than it looks. When I saw Silva’s recipe for Torta Giandiua, a flourless chocolate hazelnut cake, I thought that it should be possible to make it with the simplified method that I posted about before. What makes it easy is that you don’t have to separate the eggs and that you can just put all the ingredients in the food processor.
The texture is simply glorious. The topping adds another dimension because of the saltiness and crunchiness. Here’s how to make this wonderful cake. Ringrazio Silva per l’ispirazione!
For 8 servings
225 grams (8 oz) dark chocolate (in chips or broken into small pieces)
225 grams (1 1/2 cups) hazelnuts, skinned
80 ml (1/3 cup) hot espresso coffee
150 grams (3/4 cup) dark sugar
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp hazelnut liqueur (Frangelico)
110 grams (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the topping
50 grams (1.8 oz) dark chocolate (in chips or broken into small pieces)
25 grams (2 Tbsp) dark syrup
25 grams (2 Tbsp) butter
50 grams (1/3 cup) hazelnuts, skinned
1/8 tsp salt
Toast the hazelnuts for 8 minutes at 180C/350F.
Butter a 20 cm (8″) springform pan, then cover it with oven paper, and then butter the paper.
Put 225 grams (1 1/2 cups) toasted hazelnuts in the food processor fitted with a metal blade.
Add 150 grams (3/4 cup) dark sugar.
Process until you obtain a fine powder.
Add 225 grams (8 oz) dark chocolate.
Turn on the food processor…
…and add 80 ml (1/3 cup) hot espresso through the feeding shaft while the food processor is running. (Heat up the espresso in the microwave if needed.)
With the food processor still running, add 110 grams (1 stick) butter…
…1 Tbsp cocoa powder…
…1 Tbsp hazelnut liqueur…
…and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
Turn the food processor off and pour the batter into the prepared springform pan.
Flatten the top with a spatula.
Bake for 30 minutes at 180C/350F, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean (or with some crumbs attached).
Allow the cake to cool.
Then remove the sides.
For the glaze, combine 50 grams (1.8 oz) dark chocolate, 25 grams (2 Tbsp) butter, 25 grams (2 Tbsp) dark syrup, and 1/8 tsp salt in a saucepan.
Stir with a wooden spoon over medium low heat…
…until the chocolate has melted and the mixture has become smooth.
Pour this mixture on top of the cake…
…and flatten with a spatula.
It is okay if some of the glaze runs over.
For the topping, coarsely chop 50 grams (1/3 cup) of toasted hazelnuts…
…and sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts on top while the glaze is still liquid. Wait until the cake has cooled completely before carefully transferring it to a serving plate and cutting it. (While it is still warm, it may fall apart when you try to move or cut it.)
In this case the best pairing is not actually a wine but a liqueur, the same “Frangelico” hazelnut liqueur that was used to make the cake. Serve it chilled (from the refrigerator, or even on the rocks). As it has only 20% ABV, it is pretty close to wine anyway.
This smoked halibut, dried tomato and potato mousse ‘pizza’ was inspired by a dish I had in the best restaurant of Sicily, La Madia.