flourless blackberry chocolate hazelnut cake

When I made the chocolate raspberry buttermilk cake from the Flour and Stone cookbook, I immediately wondered what it would taste like if I made it with hazelnut meal, swapped blackberries for raspberries and espresso for buttermilk?

Determined to find out, off to the shops I went in search of frozen blackberries and hazelnut meal.

I used the same cooking technique but instead of lining the whole tin with baking paper I just lined the base and dusted the pan with cocoa hoping to get a nice clean edge.

I baked the hazelnut cake a little longer than the chocolate raspberry cake but without the protection of the baking paper I think I probably overcooked it a little as it wasn't quite as squidgy. As I had a pot of blackberry jam in the fridge, I glazed the top of the blackberries before I served the cake.

Here's the recipe for you, which makes a 17cm cake. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Chocolate hazelnut and blackberry cake – adapted from the chocolate raspberry and buttermilk cake from Flour and Stone. 

110 g good-quality dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
55 g unsalted butter, cut into large cubes 
2 eggs 
45 g light brown sugar 
35 g hazelnut meal 
15 ml espresso coffee
100 g frozen blackberries

Glaze (optional)
1 tbs warmed blackberry jam

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line the base of a 17 cm springform cake tin with baking paper and dust with cocoa.

Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water to melt, stirring occasionally with a spatula until melted and combined. Ensure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl and that the heat under the bowl is gentle so that the chocolate doesn’t burn. You can also melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl in the microwave in 30 second bursts, until the butter and chocolate starts to melt.

Meanwhile, place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed for about 5 minutes until it is thick and fluffy. Once the chocolate has melted, turn the mixer off and pour the chocolate straight into the bowl with the eggs, then add the hazelnut meal and the coffee. Return the bowl to the mixer but this time use the lowest speed to gently mix all the ingredients together (as if you were folding it by hand). You will notice the mixture is quite streaky at this point but after a few turns around the bowl the streaks will start to disappear and you want to stop the whisk just before the last streak disappears. This will ensure a light batter that has not been overworked. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spatula to scrape all the way to the base of the bowl to ensure any chocolate that has fallen to the bottom is well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 10-15 minutes at 170°C or until the top of the cake has formed a crust. Remove from the oven and cover with the berries, gently pressing them into the surface of the cake. Don’t be tempted to scatter the blackberries over the batter before baking as they will just fall to the bottom. Return the cake to the oven, reduce the temperature to 160°C and bake for a further 30-45 minutes or until the centre is springy to touch. If the berries are cooking too quickly just cover the top of the cake with a piece of foil. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before loosening the sides of the cake with a knife.

Let the cake cool in the tin for at least 2 hours before you remove it. The cake can be difficult to cut because it is so sticky but if you heat the blade of the knife with hot water and wipe it dry before slicing you will achieve a nice neat cut. If you like you can glaze the blackberries with a tablespoon of warmed blackberry jam. 

I took the cake into work and it was all gone before lunch, which is always a good sign.

See you all again next week which will be Christmas Week 2018. I've been baking up a storm so I have 5 delicious bakes to share with you and at the rate I'm baking, there may be even more.

Bye for now,



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