Monday, June 1, 2015

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake: 3 Gluten-Free Recipes

Some times you feel like a nut! Well today's the day! It's Hazelnut Cake Day, so it's time to get a bit nutty.

Did you know that a hazelnut is also known as a cob nut or filbert nut according to species? O.K. I don't know from cobs, but I do know about filberts. A filbert is a little more elongated.

I've always thought that hazel nuts reminded me of acorns, and I know you can't eat acorns, or at least I've been told that. Let the squirrels have them. But hazelnuts are fabulous, and they add texture and taste to many dishes and cakes.

I'm always looking for a Gluten-free cakes, and the following THREE cakes fit the bill. Ground nuts or nut flour give these cakes texture and a lot of taste. So, since today is National Hazelnut  Cake Day, I'm adding chocolate to celebrate the day with not one but THREE easy recipes. Both cakes are dense and decadent.

The first Flourless Hazelnut Chocolate Cake recipe is adapted from Jill Wilcox (appeared in the Toronto Sun), who adapted the original recipe from Gourmet Magazine. Flourless Chocolate Cakes are terrific!  I've posted recipes HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE. So in this recipe, you'll love the additional unique hazelnut flavor.

Want to make these cakes even more delicious? Splash some Fra Angelico in the sweetened whipped cream topping before serving!

I. Flourless (Gluten-free) Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

Ingredients
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup sweet butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
1/3 cup finely roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
sweetened whipped cream
Fra Angelico

Directions
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 8-inch round cake pan. Line bottom with round of parchment paper.
Place chocolate in double boiler (or a saucepan over a saucepan with simmering water) along with butter. Stir until butter and chocolate are smooth and melted.
Remove from heat.
Whisk in eggs one at a time until smooth.
Sift cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.
Fold in hazelnuts.
Spoon into pan and bake for 25 minutes or until top has formed crust.
Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes. Run knife around the edge and invert onto plate.
Optional: Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream that has been flavored with a spoonful of Fra Angelico

If one recipe is good, two are even better. Here's another recipe for Flourless Hazelnut Chocolate Cake-- this time the Fra Angelico is in the batter! Adapted from Bon Appetit!

II. Flourless (Gluten-Free) Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Ingredients:
6 large eggs
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup hazelnut liqueur --Fra Angelico, divided
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, at least 60 per cent cacao--75% is even better!
3/4 cup sweet butter, cut into chunks
1 cup finely ground hazelnuts (aka filberts)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup chilled whipping cream

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter 9-inch springform pan, line bottom with parchment paper and wrap outside with three layers of heavy foil.
Whisk eggs, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup liqueur in large bowl to blend.
Combine chocolate and butter in metal bowl over simmering water. Whisk until smooth, about 3 minutes.
Add to egg mixture and whisk. Add ground nuts and salt.
Transfer batter to pan. Place in large roasting pan (water bath) and pour in enough hot water to reach halfway up side of spring form pan. Tent loosely with foil. Bake until center is set and top is dry to touch, about 1-1/2 hours.
Remove from pan; remove foil. Cool cake in pan on rack. Chill at least 3 hours or overnight, covered.
Using electric mixer, beat cream and remaining 1/4 cup liqueur until soft peaks form, 6 to 8 minutes.
Run knife around pan to loosen, release and cut into wedges. Serve with whipped cream.

III. Flourless (Gluten-Free) Chocolate Hazelnut Cake 

Ingredients
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp raw hazelnuts
7 Tbsp sweet butter
1/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (70-75% cacoa)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9-inch tart dish or cake pan and line with foil.
Toast hazelnuts in oven or in nonstick saute pan on medium heat for 5 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Place nuts in food processor and pulse until nuts have flour-like texture.
In double boiler, melt chocolate and butter. Remove from heat when melted and stir in cocoa powder. In large bowl, mix together sugars, eggs, and vanilla until blended. Fold in hazelnut powder and chocolate mixture.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until cake is barely set, but not wobbly (a toothpick inserted into the cake will come out with wet crumbs). Do not overbake!
Cool to room temperature onrack and then store in the fridge until cake is set.
Bring to room temperature or briefly reheat before serving.

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