As one of my favorite people in the food world says, there are times when only chocolate will do.
If your heart is broken, if you’ve had a miserable week at work, or if you have no job at all – a slice of this cake will make you feel better. Even if just for a little while.
Crowd-pleasing chocolate cake
from Australian Gourmet Traveller
125g hazelnut meal (ground hazelnuts)
½ cup + 1 tablespoon (80g) all purpose flour
¼ cup (22g) Dutch-process cocoa, plus extra to serve
1 teaspoon baking powder
280g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
200g unsalted butter, room temperature, coarsely chopped
1 ½ tablespoons espresso or coffee liqueur – I used brandy
5 eggs, separated
1 cup + 1 ½ tablespoons (218g) caster sugar
crème fraîche, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Generously butter a 22cm (9in) springform cake pan*, line the base with baking paper and butter the paper, too.
Combine hazelnut meal, flour, cocoa and baking powder in a bowl, set aside. Melt chocolate, butter and espresso in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat, let cool for 5 minutes then stir in yolks.
Whisk egg whites in an electric mixer until firm peaks form (2-3 minutes), gradually add sugar, whisking until thick and glossy. Fold into chocolate mixture, then fold in hazelnut mixture. Spoon into prepared pan and bake until a skewer withdraws clean (30-35 minutes) – do not overbake. Cool completely in tin, remove, dust with extra cocoa and serve with crème fraîche.
Store at room temperature. Best eaten on day of making.
* I made 2/3 of the recipe above and used a 20cm (8in) deep round cake pan with a removable bottom