This is a recipe that I have adapted from one of my favourites from delicious magazine. After the first time that I made it I switched the chocolate ganache for whipped cream on top, which I felt balanced the dark chocolate of the cake better still. I also crush amaretti biscuits and scattered them over the top also.
Then recently I had the idea of making it with hazelnuts and Frangelico instead of almonds and Amaretto. It worked very well, but it could easily be adapted for whatever alcohol you prefer. I think Marsala would be especially delicious and would be a nod to Tiramisu, especially if you folded some mascarpone through the cream and dusted the whole thing with cocoa powder.
200g Of Butter
200g of Dark Chocolate
150g of Ground Hazelnuts
6 Medium Eggs
180g of Caster Sugar
50ml of Frangelico liqueur
300g Double Cream
30g of Icing Sugar
30ml of Frangelico
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
40g of Roughly Chopped Hazelnuts
(any kind of other decoration you fancy, perhaps gold sugar or sprinkles. I grated about 25g of Dark Chocolate over mine)
- Preheat your oven to 160C and grease and line a 9″ springform making tin.
- Melt the butter and chocolate slowly over a bain marie.
- Meanwhile, eparate the egg whites and yolks.
- Whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar until thick and pale.
- Once the chocolate and butter have melted add the Frangelico and stir in the ground hazelnuts. Allow this mixture to sit to cool a little for 5 minutes.
- Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until firm and stiff.
- Add the chocolate mixture to the egg yolk and sugar mixture and fold until completely blended.
- Take a large spoonful of the stiff egg whites and use it to slacken the chocolate and egg yolk mixture. Then add the rest of the egg whites and fold until incorporated, being gentle to ensure that as much air is maintained as possible.
- The mixture will be very loose. Pour it into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. It will rise up and crack (don’t worry) and is ready when a skewer comes out clean.
- Allow it to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before unclipping the springform sides. Allow to cool completely before finishing off with the cream.
- To make the cream, put the cream, vanilla and Frangelico in a bowl, sieve the icing sugar on top, then whisk the whole lot together until it is firm and holds its shape. If you want to pipe the cream you may want to whisk a little firmer but don’t go too far.
- Cover the cooled cake with the cream then scatter the chopped hazelnuts, grated chocolate and any other decorations that you wish.
This is a moist cake and an excellent after dinner desert. It is pretty grown up in its flavours (though my kids like it!) and you can always substitute the alcohol for flavourings or flavoured syrup. It keeps well if kept covered and cool for two or three days. And, without the use of flour, it’s gluten free, so a great option for a dinner party dessert if someone can’t tolerate gluten amongst the party.
And if you like cherries…use ground almonds in the cake, kirsch as your alcohol, grate hunks of dark chocolate on top of the cream, then spoon cherries soaked in kirsch onto the top just before serving.