Friday, June 1, 2018

Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake: National Hazelnut Cake Day!

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 hazelnuts 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 two cakes fit the bill. Ground nuts or nut flour give these cakes texture and a lot of taste. Well, since today is National Hazelnut Cake Day, I thought I'd add chocolate and celebrate the day with not one but two 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

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted 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

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 8-inch round cake pan. Line bottom with round of parchment paper.
Place chocolate in double boiler (or saucepan over saucepan with simmering water) along with butter. Stir until butter and chocolate is melted and smooth.
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 rack for 10 minutes. Run knife around the edge and invert onto plate.
9. 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

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

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.
7. 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.

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