Chocolate and hazelnuts are two key ingredients in the recipe of Nutella. Many people love Nutella but these days there are far better quality chocolate spreads on the Italian market. Nutella is far too sugary and it contains palm oil which is certainly not good for you (read about it). Sugar and palm oil are in fact the two top ingredients in Nutella and every jar only has 13% of hazelnuts in it, quite low really. To me this is a product of the 80s when we couldn't find anything better to buy.
So, now you know, I am not a big fan of Nutella. I love good quality Italian products really and these days we are spoilt for choice.
With the combination of chocolate and hazelnuts in mind, today I made a luscious, good quality dark chocolate and hazelnuts cake with a hint of espresso coffee... basically a very rich, indulgent cake just so perfect for Valentine and it is gluten free too. Only hazelnut flour has been used in this cake making it therefore so incredibly nutty. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream this is simply pure indulgence.
All you need to do is melt the chocolate, whip the eggs and add all the ingredients one by one. Give it a good mix, pour into a mold and bake... the result is impressive. Always use good quality dark chocolate and strong Italian coffee...a winning combo and a great pic me up.
- Prep Time : 20 minutes
- Cook Time : 40 minutes
- Yield : 8
- ground hazelnuts - 300 g - 3 cups
- brown or muscovado sugar - 150 g - 3/4 cup
- dark chocolate - 130 g - 3/4 cup cup chocolate chips
- eggs at room temperature - 4
- butter - 100 g - 1/2 cup
- espresso coffee - 80 ml - 2.7 fluid oz
- baking powder (gluten free if you are intollerant) - 2 tsp
- cocoa powder - to sprinkle
Put the chocolate in a bowl and melt it over a saucepan of boiling water.
In a bowl whip the eggs with the sugar. Add the softened butter, the coffee, the melted chocolate, the hazelnuts and the baking powder. Mix well.
Grease a round baking tin of a diameter of approximately 20 cm or 8 inch. Pour the mixture in and level well. Bake at 180C or 350F for 40 minutes. If you find that the cake gets a little too brown on top cover it up with a tin foil during cooking.
Remove it from the mold, let it cool down and sprinkle it with cocoa powder. Serve with a scoop of ice cream.. yummy!