Chocolate Hazelnut Cake 

Ingredients:

200g hazelnuts

185g  unsalted butter

185g chocolate, 74% cocoa solids

6 eggs separated

185g caster sugar

For the icing:

175g unsalted butter 

175g chocolate, 74% cocoa solids

2 tbsp strong coffee

For the caramel:

125g sugar

50g water

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).

 

2. Start by lining 2 x 8inch (or 20cm) sandwich cake tins as shown in the video. Use parchment paper if possible. 

3. Place the hazelnuts in a tray and put them in your preheated oven. Roast until golden brown and the skins are darker in colour. If you're using hazelnuts without skins which aren't toasted, put them in the oven too. 

4. Remove the skins (if applicable) as shown in the video. Grind up the hazelnuts in a food processor to a coarse powder. Keep 12 hazelnuts whole if you want to do the sugar work. If not, only use 185g hazelnuts for the recipe.

5. Melt the chocolate and butter in a Bain Marie. Make sure the base of the bowl isn't touching the water, as this could make the chocolate 'seize up'. 

6. While that's melting, separate the eggs and put the yolks in a bowl with the sugar. Whisk until pale and fluffy. 

7. Once the chocolate has melted, leave to cool for a few minutes. Then combine the egg yolk mixture, the ground hazelnuts and the chocolate. Set aside. 

8. In a very clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Thoroughly mix 1/5th of the egg white into the chocolate mixture. Then fold in the rest, refer to the video for help with technique. 

9. Gently pour the mixture into the lined cake tins and bake for 20 minutes at 190°C (375°F), then turn the oven down to 160°C (320°F) and bake for a further 20 minutes. 

10. While that's baking, make the icing. Melt the chocolate and coffee in a Bain Marie, and leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Once cooled, pour into the bowl of an electric mixer (hand mixer is fine too) and slowly add chunks of the butter until the icing is thick and spreadable. If the icing becomes thin, you've added the butter too quickly, put the mixture in the fridge to re-set, then continue. 

11. Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. After about 20 minutes you can take them out of their tins to continue cooling. 

12. Make the caramel by melting the sugar and water as shown in the video. Don't stir the sugar and water, it will become grainy and unusable. Put the 12 hazelnuts on toothpicks and dip them into the caramel, after it has cooled for a few minutes. Leave to cool whilst hanging over the edge of your kitchen counter. 

13. Ice the cake with a warm palette knife. 

14. Decorate the cake. 

15. Leave to 'set' for about 10 minutes. 

16. Serve and enjoy!