Monday, January 07, 2013

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Cake



The Home Bakersorganised by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours are baking recipes from "Coffee Cakes" by Lou Seibert Pappas. Finally, after choosing a recipe from the book sometime back, its my turn to host The Home Bakers! I've chosen to bake the Dark Chocolate Almond Cake (page 127), because J and I love chocolate and nuts, so it is likely that we will both enjoy this cake very much.



And we really loved it! The chocolate and the hazelnut was a wonderful combination, although I have to say, this is a very chocolaty cake. When I measured out the dark chocolate, I was amazed by the sheer amount of chocolate this caked called for, but it was all good. The cake was delicious and the inclusion of grounded nuts gives the cake a nuttier flavour and texture. I especially loved the soft center of the cake. However, for those who prefers dense and fudgey chocolate cake, this cake is not. This cake has a rather airy and crumbly exterior, with a moist and just slightly dense middle. In fact, it could be rather dry if its over-baked  as noted by other THB members.

The cake rose beautifully in the oven as well, thanks to the beaten egg whites. However, my semi sweet dark chocolate was too sweet even after I cut down the amount of sugar, so I've skipped the icing sugar dusting.



I initially had misgivings about baking this cake, as I was experiencing a streak of unsuccessful baking and was afraid this cake might turn out badly as well. I did three bakes for Martha Stewart last month, and two of them, one bowl chocolate cake and lemon parsley gougeres, failed. My Martha's chocolate cake tasted off and the lemon parsley gougeres flattened in the oven. Needless to say, it was all rather disheartening. This cake managed to make me feel better.

Dark-Chocolate Almond Cake
by Lou Seibert Pappas

Ingredients
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup (1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons brewed coffee, Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, or rum
3/4 cup (3 ounces) finely ground almonds or toasted and skinned hazelnuts
6 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Makes one 9-inch cake; serves 12

Baking Temperature: 350F/180C
Baking Time: 35 minutes

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. In a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate and stir to blend. Let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy with a whisk or an electric mixer; add the salt and cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Add the 1/4 cup granulated sugar and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored, then beat in the 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the coffee or spirits. Stir in the chocolate mixture until blended. Fold in one-third of the whites to lighten the mixture, then fold in the nuts, flour, and then the remaining whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted 1 1/2 inches from the center comes out clean (the center should still be soft). Let the cake cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing the pan sides.
  6. Dust the cake with confectioners' sugar shaken through a sieve, and cut into wedges to serve.



Chopped semisweet dark chocolate


Stiff peak egg whites


Finely ground hazelnuts


Do check out our fellow THB's rendition of Dark-Chocolate Almond Cake as well!




32 comments:

  1. just read the tips at the home bakers not long ago and just happened to see your post now. I hv not baked this yet so i'm here to take a peep at your cake. Looks great, will be baking mine soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lena,

      Remember not to overbake the cake! I hope that you will like this cake as much as I did!

      Delete
  2. Hi Jocelycn,
    Thanks for this great pick! I really like this cake! The texture is perfect. Moist, chocolaty, very soft and tender crumbs! Love it! The next time, I'm gonna try with Kahlua!
    Your cake decorated with the nuts looks lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Joyce,

      I am glad that you enjoy the cake as well! I am sure the cake will taste even better with Kahlua!

      Delete
  3. Whenever something goes finally well in the kitchen it boosts my humour, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alex!

      Happiness is when things goes well in the kitchen, right?

      Delete
  4. Hi Jocelyn,

    Mine is dry and brittle on its outside too. My family and I might be a little too critical with our chocolate cakes and would regard this bake as so-so :p

    So sorry to hear that you have two unsuccessful MS bakes. Nice to hear that eating lots of chocolate in this cake would definitely help... LOL!

    Zoe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Zoe,

      Thankfully, this cake actually worked out beautifully, or I will be rather depressed, LOL!

      Delete
  5. Hi Jocelyn, great choice! I loved this bake, and so did all my friends :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mich,

      Glad that you and your friends love this cake too :)

      Delete
  6. Looks like 3rd time works like a charm! Jocelyn, you got a great looking cake there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Emily,

      Thanks!I loved how the cake turned out in the photos as well!

      Delete
  7. Looks delicious! I'm sure this kind of chocolate cake stand out in the crowd.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vivian,

      Thanks! It was a great bake!

      Delete
  8. Hi Jocelyn, what a great choice & your cake looks lovely! I LOVE this decadent cake & baked the full recipe! It soo decadent that it reminded me of Valentine's Day! LOL Simply heavenly YUM ! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kit,

      Thanks! You are right, the cake is decadent, but it sure made us happy!

      Delete
  9. Well it looks good and sounds heavenly. I love nutty cakes, especially when combined with chocolate. I'm not a fan of dry cakes though, so I guess the secret would be to slightly underbake this one. Anyway, I've bookmarked it.

    Really like your use of nuts as decoration too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Choclette,

      It is good, and indeed, do pay attention to the baking time, because it really makes a difference.

      I hope you enjoy this bake as much as I did!

      Delete
  10. Hi Jocelyn, with or without the icing sugar, your cake definitely looks good. Thanks for choosing this recipe, though I'm not very fond of the outcome, your photos make me feel like baking it again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jasline,

      I am sorry to hear that you are not so fond of the outcome, but I am so proud that my photos made you feel like baking this cake again! :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Joycelyn, been a while since I last heard from you, hope you are doing well! I just want to let you know I've nominated you an award at http://foodismylife.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/thank-you-liebster-and-versatile-blogger-award/

      Hope you will like it!

      Delete
  11. this surely looks good! i will find time to bake this, too :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Jocelyn, your cake looks good. Like your simple presentation with some nuts on top. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Joycelyn, I am sure I would feel so good if my bakes turned out as good as this cake...love the way you decorate it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Jocelyn, I love the way you make the cake looks simple but yet delicious. Glad you chose this cake :) I absolutely love the nutty chocolate combination.

    ReplyDelete
  15. happy CNY to u and family :)

    ReplyDelete
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  18. The dark chocolate hazelnut cake looks delicious. It truly appears as though this cake would be extremely rich. It sounds like the icing sugar would not be necessary with a cake which is so sweet already. It is unfortunate that some of your other cakes did not work out but it is great to hear that this one did.


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    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Jocelycn!

    What a scrumptious looking cake. Chocolate and Hazelnut work so well together. You have just the right touch here to make a moist and delectable cake.

    Thank you so much for sharing...

    ReplyDelete
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Thank you for spending some time to let me know who you are, and what you think. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

Hope to see you again soon and have a wonderful day. Cheers.

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