Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chocolate, marmalade and hazelnut cake

For fans of jaffa cakes or those needing a gluten-free cake... This is another recipe from 'Bake' (Rachel Allen). I myself don't need to avoid gluten, but I love cakes that have ground nuts instead of flour. The texture and flavour is always amazing. Because this cake has no flour, and no raising agent apart from beaten egg whites, it rises while baking, then sinks on cooling. This is quite normal for a flourless cake, so don't be concerned by its deflated appearance.

The recipe

Preheat oven to 190ºC. Grease and line a 22cm loose-bottomed pan (I used a springform tin and lined the sides as well).
Melt together 175g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa) and 175g of butter - I do this in the microwave.
Grind 150g of hazelnuts, with skins on, in a food processor. Separate 5 eggs. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with 175g of caster sugar until mousse-like in texture. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Add 200g finely-cut marmalade, grated zest of one orange and the ground nuts to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Add the beaten egg whites, one third at a time, folding gently through.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 170ºC. Bake for a further 35-40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake (the skewer test wasn't helpful for me - see further down). Cool for 20 mins before removing the cake from the tin and leaving to cool completely on a rack.

When completely cool, make the topping. Melt together 75g of dark chocolate (70% cocoa), 75ml cream and grated zest of one orange. Spread over the cake with a spatula and leave to set for 30 mins - 1hr (note from my photo that I didn't let it set - too eager to tuck in!).

Serves 12

I loved the 5 egg yolks making a flower in the bottom of my KitchenAid mixer bowl :)

I used the KitchenAid for the yolks and sugar, so I decided to crack out the Dualit to beat the egg whites. This is her maiden voyage. Looooove my Dualit! She doesn't just look purty, she does a fantastic job too. And as much as I love my KitchenAid mixer, sometimes I can end up feeling a bit detached from the process. I turn the mixer on and let her do her stuff. The Dualit lets me be a bit more involved in the process.

I am always fascinated by the transformation that takes place when you beat egg whites. Going from this...

to this...

Before, during, after...

Adding the ground nuts, marmalade and zest to the melted chocolate and butter.

ready to bake

On the left, the cake after baking; on the right, the cake after cooling - you can see it sank a bit in the middle, which is normal for flourless cakes. Although the recipe states to cook until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake, I baked the cake for about 15 mins longer, at which point it felt firm in the centre, but there were still moist crumbs on the skewer. I pulled it out to cool at this point as it was firm enough and was starting to get quite dark around the outside.

You can see here how incredibly moist this cake is (and why the skewer test wasn't a helpful guide). It is very very rich - I couldn't manage a second helping, which is unusual!

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