This wonderful dessert is just as delicious as it looks. And it’s a perfect time to try it, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The rich chocolate taste with the hazelnut undertones will surely please your special Valentine.
I’ve made this cake on several occasions and it always is a hit. You can even serve it à la mode and definitely with a nice cup of coffee. It can be a bit rich all by itself! But well worth the time and calories!!
4 ounce semisweet chocolate; melted and cooled (Ghirardelli)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Frangelica
4 ounce semisweet chocolate; Ghirardelli
2 ounce hazelnuts; whole, toasted and cut in half
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter a 9-inch spring-form pan. In a large bowl (preferably metal), whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff. In another bowl, cream the butter and Nutella, then add the Frangelica, egg yolks, and ground hazelnuts. Fold in melted chocolate.
Add a large tablespoon of beaten egg whites to the chocolate batter, and mix gently until well-combined. Fold in the remaining whites, one-third at a time, very gently but thoroughly. Pour into spring-form and bake for 35-40 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting tester, which should come out mostly clean; lightly pressing finger into top to check for a slight bouncing-back; and observing edges beginning to separate from pan. (My cake was done in 35 minutes). Let cool completely, in pan, on a rack.
Toast the hazelnuts in a dry skillet, or toaster oven shaking them around frequently. Do it for about 4 minutes, or until they are lightly browned, then let cool completely. If hazelnuts came with skins on, put them in a towel after toasting and rub around; this will remove most of the skins. Cut in half. (again, I use the pre-chopped hazelnuts from the nut aisle and I didn’t toast them – still scrumptious)
Chop chocolate, and add to sauce pan with heavy cream and Frangelica over medium-low heat. Once chocolate is melted and components are combined, whisk until mixture reaches desired thickness, then cool. Remove rim of cake pan and pour cooled ganache over, spreading lightly to create a smooth, shiny surface, and apply hazelnuts all over.
This cake is at its best when served at room temperature.