This recipe is a classic, originally inspired by a recipe in the River Café Book. The original was flavoured with espresso coffee, I have taken this out, and I sometimes add 70ml of amaretto liquor instead.
Always use good quality chocolate such as Valrhona, which is easily available from all good providores. This cake has a good shelf-life but is always best served an hour or so after it has come out of the oven. Any freshly churned ice-cream makes a great accompaniment or some warm crème anglaise.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Cooking programme: Conventional
305g, unsalted French butter
2 cups hazelnut meal
250g dark coverture chocolate
6 large organic eggs
1 cup caster sugar
300g milk coverture chocolate (melted and warmed)
Preheat the oven on Conventional 160ºC.
Using 50g of the butter, grease a 26cm cake tin, and line the edges and bottom with baking paper.
Break the chocolate pieces and melt with the butter in a medium-sized saucepan on low heat (Induction setting 2), stirring occasionally until melted. Cool, and then fold into the hazelnuts.
Separate the eggs. In a stand mixer whisk the yolks and sugar until pale and doubled in size. Fold in the chocolate. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, and then carefully fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the greased and lined cake tin.
Bake in the oven, on shelf 2, for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin.
Serve lightly dusted with cocoa or icing sugar.
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