We have a huge number of chocolate cake recipes for all occasions, but this is top of our list. It makes a very good birthday cake, dusted with cocoa powder or icing sugar and covered in candles. It is also great for a dinner party or with an afternoon coffee. It’s dense and fudgy with a slight crunch from the hazelnuts and is always greeted with gasps of delight from guests – especially when served warm.
250g unsalted butter, cubed,
plus extra for the tin
300g good-quality dark chocolate
150g light muscovado sugar
3 tbsp chocolate and
1 tsp sea salt
6 eggs, separated
double cream, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7.
2. Put the hazelnuts on a baking tray, pop into the oven and roast for 5-10 minutes, giving the tray a good shake halfway through, until they are golden brown. Take out of the oven and leave to cool. Place in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. If you prefer a crunchier cake, don’t blitz to a powder.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/gas 4. Butter a 20cm springform tin and line with
4. Put the chocolate, butter and sugar in a pan and melt over a gentle heat; do not let the chocolate burn. Simmer gently for a couple of minutes, then take off the heat and stir in the chocolate spread and sea salt. Leave to cool.
5. Using a hand-held electric whisk, whisk the egg whites until they are fluffy, forming soft peaks. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, beat in the egg yolks one at a time.
6. Add a couple of tablespoons of the whisked egg whites to the chocolate mixture and combine to loosen the batter, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites, followed by the hazelnuts.
7. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. It should be dry to the touch but still slightly wobbly underneath. Leave to cool in the tin before carefully releasing and cutting into slices (the cake will most likely sink a little in the middle – this is normal). Serve with softly whipped double cream.
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