Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake + "Bronson"

Flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake / Bolo de chocolate e avelã (sem farinha de trigo)

Not only do I love watching movies but I also love reading about them (I am a very curious person, I’ll admit it), and when a guy I’d never heard of before won the best director prize in Cannes in 2011 I knew I would watch that movie as soon as possible (Ryan Gosling being the leading actor wouldn’t hurt either). ;) I did, and it became one of my all-time favorites, and up to this day I still listen to the soundtrack almost on daily basis.

Days ago I watched another movie directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and it made me think that we were all paying attention to Sean Penn playing Harvey Milk back in 2009, while we should have paid attention – and given all the awards – to Tom Hardy for Bronson: at first I was shocked by the physical transformation (and by how much he looked like the real Charlie Bronson), but his performance is so much more than that – it’s a tiring, intense and perfect acting exercise that goes beyond the pushups he had to make to get those muscles. It’s not an easy movie to watch – the amount of violence is disturbing – but I found it was worth every second (and if you like acting in its essence I am sure you’ll like it, too). It’s such a shame that a great performance like that didn’t get the buzz it deserved, and it is rarely mentioned among the great performances of all time – what Hardy did shouldn’t be forgotten.

And since good things shouldn’t be forgotten, I’ve been having a lot of fun rediscovering Bill Granger’s Holiday – I hadn’t used the book for ages (for no reason at all) and after making those great chocolate and caramel bars I’ve been reaching for it quite regularly. This chocolate cake is an easy and delicious idea for dessert – you can make it in advance and when the meal is over all you need to do is whip up the cinnamon cream (I skipped the electric mixer and did it manually in order to burn some of the calories I was about to ingest). ;)

Flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake
slightly adapted from the always delicious Holiday

200g dark chocolate, chopped – I used one with 53% cocoa solids
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
225g light brown sugar
100g hazelnut meal (ground hazelnuts)
5 eggs, separated
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Cinnamon cream:
1 cup (240ml) whipping cream
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon icing sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 20cm springform cake pan (I used a pan with a removable bottom), line the bottom with a circle of baking paper and butter the paper as well.
Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water). Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter have melted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Add the sugar and hazelnut meal to the melted chocolate and stir until there are no lumps. Add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring well after each addition, then stir in the vanilla. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until firm peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until firm but still gooey in the center. Leave to cool completely in the pan. Sift the cocoa over the top of the cake.

Cinnamon cream: place the cream, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Serve with the cake.

Serves 8


Susan said...

I love that this recipe is gluten free and paleo. I am so going to make this. FYI…I loved Sean Penn in Milk. Such a great film!

Victoria said...

This cake looks amazing!!And it has everything I love!Chocolate, hazelnuts, the cinnamon cream + gooey in the middle!! Love it!

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

What a decadent cake, I love anything with chocolate and hazelnuts (in fact, I just baked some flourless cookies today!).

Related Posts with Thumbnails