Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake

Well, a month of Chocolate-themed recipes just wouldn’t be complete without a classic chocolate cake, would it? Today our resident chocolate maker, Jade Bentley of Monsieur Truffe shares with us her rich, fudgy and not-too-sweet chocolate cake.  This one is EPIC.  I would know, I tasted it… and the rest of it ended up in my ‘fridge for a week after this shoot.  Let’s just say… that was a great week!  – Lucy

Jade Bentley of Monsieur Truffe

Like any young kid, I loved Nutella.  When I was younger, I used to always feel like I had somehow managed to pull the wool over my parents’ eyes, by doing something so forbidden as eating chocolate on toast for breakfast! When I got older though, I realised the bread was pointless, and that it was much easier to dive into the jar with a tablespoon when nobody was looking.

After one these raids on the family Nutella jar, my Dad came home and caught me, spoon in mouth, looking very guilty. His response to this situation was a unique one, and I think he would be the first to admit it backfired.  ‘You can either eat that entire jar now and we’ll never buy it again. Or you can put it away and only ever have it on toast like you are supposed to.’  Needless to say I sat in front of him and ate the entire jar and we never bought it again.

My unwavering love for Nutella has lasted through the years, and I still need to ration myself as every time I buy Nutella as an adult!  This recipe is one inspired by Nigella Lawson’s famous Nutella cake. At Monsieur Truffe I helped to create our very own version of Nutella, using quality ingredients and less sugar than the supermarket variety.  Quality deep dark cocoa powder, caramelised sugar and Italian organic hazelnuts come together to form our version. I have since chosen to substitute our own hazelnut spread in Nigella’s cake recipe, as it lowers the sweetness in the cake and tends to make it much more dense and fudgy.

This cake is a great finish to a dinner party.  It is definitely a showstopper – however you only need a tiny slice due to the intensity!

6 large eggs, separated
1 pinch of salt
125g soft unsalted butter
400g Monsieur Truffe Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Spread (or a 400g tub of Nutella)
1 tbsp crème de cacao or rum
100g ground hazelnuts
100g 70% dark chocolate
100g cleaned hazelnuts
125ml double cream
1 tbsp crème de cacao or rum
125g 70% dark chocolate
Jade Bentley of Monsieur Truffe
15th of October 2013


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff but not dry. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and chocolate spread together, then add the alcohol, egg yolks and ground hazelnuts.

Fold in the melted chocolate mixture, then lighten with a large dollop of your whisked egg white, which you can beat in before carefully folding in the rest, a third at a time.

Pour in a 23cm round greased and lined springform tin. Cook for 40 minutes then let cool on a rack.

Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan, tossing until they have become golden brown on the outside. Then put aside to cool.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan combine the cream, liqueur and chopped chocolate together, and heat gently. Once the chocolate is melted take the pan off the heat and whisk until it reaches a smooth, thick consistency. You may need to let it cool for while to thicken up if it is still too runny.  Turn out the cooled cake carefully, leaving it on the base as it will be too difficult to get such a damp cake off in one piece.

Ice the top of the cake with the chocolate icing and dot thickly with the whole roasted hazelnuts.

Huge thanks to Jade the Chocolate Maker for sharing another gem with us today.  You can check out Jade’s work on the Monsieur Truffe website – their entire range is handmade by Jade and her team in Brunswick.  You can also follow Jade’s daily chocolate making adventures on Instagram!

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