CHOCO­LATE HAZEL­NUT CAKE

SERVES / 12 PREP / 20 MIN­UTES COOK / 50 MIN­UTES

Noosa Life and Style - - FOOD -

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

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.

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