Flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake recipe
by Russell Norman | 1 comment | Print recipeTweet
Don’t kid yourself that ‘flourless’ means ‘calorie-free’. This lovely moist chocolate cake is packed with flavour and just so happens to be gluten-free.
The secret ingredient in this recipe is Frangelico, a terribly kitsch hazelnut liqueur that comes in a bottle shaped like a monk. It is very sweet and resonates powerfully of the 1970s. But don’t let that put you off – it imparts an essential nutty hit to the overall flavour.
At a glance
- Cuisine Italian
- Recipe Type Cake
- Difficulty Easy
- Preparation time 10 mins
- Cooking time 70 mins
- Serves 12 people
- 375 g (13.2oz) whole hazelnuts
- 375 g (13.2oz) chocolate (70% cocoa), melted
- 375 g (13.2oz) butter - at room temperature
- 200 g (7.1oz) soft brown sugar
- 175 g (6.2oz) caster sugar
- 9 medium free-range eggs
- 50 ml (1.8fl oz) Frangelico
- 2 tbsp double cream
- 250 g (8.8oz) mascarpone
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Prepare a 26cm cake tin by greasing it with a little oil and lining with baking parchment.
- Roast the hazelnuts in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until they are dark brown. Allow them to cool and then put them on the bottom half of a clean tea towel on a work surface. Fold over the other half of the tea towel and rub vigorously to remove the skins. Put the skinned nuts in a food processor and blitz until they have the consistency of breadcrumbs.
- Melt the chocolate by placing it in a glass bowl and slowly heating the bowl over gently boiling water. Fold the hazelnuts through the chocolate. Put the butter and sugars in a bowl and use an electric whisk to make them pale and fluffy. Start adding the eggs two at a time, whilst whisking, alternating with spoonfuls of the chocolate and hazelnut mixture.
- Scrape the whole mixture into your prepared tin and put into the preheated oven. Check the cake after 1 hour. The top of the cake should be set and a skewer put into the centre will come out still wet but not too raw (the cake settles down and sets inside as it cools). Whilst it is still warm, pierce the cake many times over the top with the skewer and sprinkle over the Frangelico. Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin.
- Fold the double cream into the mascarpone until smooth. Cut the cake just before you want to eat it and serve with a generous spoonful of mascarpone cream.
Recipe from Polpo by Russell Norman. Text by Russell Norman, 2012. Photographs by Jenny Zarins, 2012. Published by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2012.
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