CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT CAKE
SERVES / 12 PREP / 20 MINUTES COOK / 50 MINUTES
150g butter, cubed 200g 70 per cent dark chocolate, broken into pieces* 140g (2⁄3 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar* 5 eggs 1 tsp natural vanilla extract 200g (2 cups) hazelnut meal 1⁄2 tsp gluten-free baking powder 1⁄2 tsp maca root powder, to dust (optional) 1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Grease the base of a 20cm springform pan and line with baking paper. 2. Gently melt the butter and chocolate (either in a saucepan on the stove or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave), stirring occasionally, until just melted and smooth. Set aside. 3. Whisk the sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Add the melted chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the hazelnut meal and baking powder and stir until just combined. 4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until just cooked (the cake will appear soft in the centre). Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with maca powder before serving, if you like. *TIPS: If you want to use a less-refined brown sugar, try rapadura (panela) or coconut sugar, instead. However, using them will give a less sweet result. (Note: the weights of these sugars can vary, so if you have scales, use the gram measurement for greater accuracy.) You can use dark baking chocolate (40 per cent cocoa solids) or a more bitter 70-80 per cent. I prefer chocolates with a higher cocoa content, because they tend to have less sugar and more polyphenols. If you’re using brown sugar, a 70-80 per cent chocolate is perfect to balance the sweetness. If you’re using rapadura or coconut sugar (see tip above), use a less-bitter chocolate with a lower cocoa content, such as 40 per cent. Recipe by Louise Keats. Photo by Nigel Lough,Jeremy Simons.