Happy Birthday to my dear sister!
It was my elder sister's birthday today. I asked her what kind of cake she would like me to bake for her. As usual, her request was: flourless, chocolate & hazelnut. I've known that she doesn't like cakes, cakes using flour. However, she has an acquired taste for good quality chocolate, especially dark chocolates. And she loves hazelnut. Having baked an almond torte before (for my youngest sister), which was flourless, I didn't think I wanted to bake the same cake for her. Knowing what her taste is like, it got me a bit stressed!
I rumbled through all my recipe books, looking for hazelnut tortes. Somehow, I didn't find many recipes. Since I bought the gorgeous cakes book, I've not tried any recipe from there. I happened to come across this recipe called "French and Flourless". That does sounds good. So I decided to give it a try, hopefully it will turn out good!
The baking process was smooth. However, the shocking part was after the cake has cooled down. It was really crappy, and crumbly and looked like every corner was falling apart! Hahaha... The cake sank so badly in the centre! The cake was baked without flour. I also didn't dare to risk adding ground hazelnuts into the batter. So I topped the cake with the toasted ground hazelnuts instead. Luckily I made a decision to do that because the top was simply UGLY! Heehee...
This was how the cake looked like during & after baking.
Fortunately, very fortunately, I used good quality chocolate: Ghiradeli's 66% Dark Chocolate. I knew she will appreciate that, so I used them. Therefore, the overall taste was really very good! My family all loved the cake very much! She loved it too! I'm so glad my first experience with this recipe was good. Shall try other recipe from this book again!
Updated on 1 Feb 09:
French and Flourless (from Gorgorous Cakes)
(makes 1 x 20cm cake)
250g Unsalted butter, diced
250g Dark chocolate, (approx. 50% cocoa solides), broken into pieces
5 Medium eggs, separated
220g Golden caster sugar* (can be reduced by another 40-50%)
1. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a pan with a little simmering water in it, stirring occasionally.
2. At the same, whisk the egg yolks with half the sugar for several minutes until pale and doubled in volume.
3. You can do this in a food processor, then transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then gradually whisk in the remaining sugar, whisking for about 20 secs for each addition. Whisk till stiff peak.
5. Fold the chocolate and butter into the egg mixture, then the egg whites, in two goes.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared buttered & lined 20cm cake tin 9cm deep with a removable base.
7. Bake for 50-60mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging.
8. Run a knife around the edge and leave it to cool in the tine, when it will sink.
9. Its craggy appearance is all part of its charm, but if parts of the sides are very high, then simple break a little off to level them.
I just topped the cake with ground hazelnuts to cover the crappy appearance.
The original sugar used was 250g. I reduced to 220g. However, due to the sweetness of the cake, the good quality bitter chocolate was masked by the sugar. Therefore, after discussion with my sister, we decided that in order get the real chocolate taste, the sugar should be reduced by half. Then the taste will be similar to the Almond Torte, but much better!