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Chocolate and Hazelnut cake

It was my friend Emma’s birthday at work and so I decided to make a chocolate cake I have been making since I was a kid. You can never really fail, unless you over-cook it. It turned out pretty good and everyone gobbled it down, so here it is:

Prep time: 20mins
Cooking time: 25 – 30mins at 180C

For the cake you will need:
200g dark chocolate (mine was 76% cocoa)
100g of hazelnuts (whole)
150g granulated sugar
150g butter
100g raising flour
4 eggs
1 tsp baking soda

For the ganache you will need:
100g dark chocolate
50g icing sugar
50g butter

Before you do anything turn your oven onto 180C. You will need two big bowls. Take your eggs and separate into the two bowls the yolks and the whites. Add the sugar to the yolks and whisk until it takes on a creamy colour (this will only take a minute or two).

Now you need to melt your chocolate and butter together. You can do this in a bain-marie but I like to cheat and use the microwave. Break up the chocolate in a bowl and the cut up the butter and place on top of the chocolate, add a tablespoon of water. Put in the microwave at medium heat for a minute. Check the chocolate, if it isn’t fully melted put it a back in for a while longer. Be careful not to leave it to long as it can easily burn if it goes past its melted form.

Once the chocolate and butter are melted make sure the mixture isn’t hot when you add it to the yolks and sugar (otherwise it will cook the eggs).  With a whisk mix all ingredients together.

Put the flour in a small bowl and add to it the baking soda. Make sure they are well mixed together and then add them to your cake mixture. Use a wooden spoon to incorporate the flour and then use the whisk to properly mix. Add the hazelnuts, though they are not a must have.

Now come the egg whites, you need to whisk them until you can literally turn the bowl upside down over your head without them falling out. This should take about 5 minutes. Then you need to use a wooden spoon to fold the egg whites into your cake mixture. This is so you don’t lose the air you have created with the whites, this will ensure you cake rises and is light.

Put the cake mixture in a not stick proof cake tin and place in the oven for 25 minutes if you like it a little gooey in the middle or 35 minutes if not.

Remove the cake from the oven and de-mold. Once it has cooled you can turn to your ganache.

Melt the chocolate and butter as you did previously. Then add to it the icing sugar and make sure the three ingredients are well mixed together. Now you can cover your cake with the ganache.

Fell free to add anything else to the top of your cake for decoration, or just leave it simple.

This is a definite success.