Flourless Chocolate Praline Cake

 

On the odd occasion that I do have a crack at baking, the ingredients are predictable. A variation of chocolate and praline almost always ensues with varying degrees of success!

Now that we are firmly into autumn and the weather is horrendously cold (in Scotland at least) I was searching for something comforting and laden with chocolate to eat by the fire. Yet it couldn’t be too heavy – that is to be saved for the depths of winter.

Flourless cakes have always intrigued me – light and airy and still magically holding themselves together without the addition of flour. The lack of flour also intensifies the flavour of the ingredients. A flourless chocolate and praline cake it was to be!

Flourless Chocolate Praline Cake

Ingredients:
100g Dark Chocolate (Good Quality)
100g Milk Chocolate (Good Quality)
100g Hazelnuts, Toasted with the outer layer roughly rubbed off.
125g Unsalted Butter
125g Caster Sugar
4 Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Extract

Method:
1) Pre heat your oven to 180C. Grease and line a medium-sized springform cake tin.
2) Melt the chocolate and the butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water in the usual fashion.
3) Finely chop the hazelnuts in a food processor.
4) Combine the melted butter and chocolate with the hazelnuts and vanilla in a large bowl.
5) Whisk the eggs with the caster sugar until thick and very fluffy – around 5 minutes.
6) Carefully fold the whisked eggs and sugar into the chocolate mixture until fully combined.
7) Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven for around 45 minutes or until ready.

Best served with a big spoon of crème fraîche and a cup of tea!

Advertisements

Praline and Caramel Layer Cake

 

If I am ever stuck on a desert island, give me a box of pralines and a bottle of red and I’ll be a very happy man. The humble hazelnut creates one of the finest foods known to man. Pair praline with caramel and you have a glorious combination.

This cake is so simple to prepare and I can guarantee it will not last long!

Praline and Caramel Layer Cake

Ingredients:

For the Cake: 175g Soft Unsalted Butter, 100g Golden Caster Sugar, 220g Dulce De Leche (Shop Bought Tinned Caramel), 2 Large Eggs, 125g Toasted and Ground hazelnuts, 175g Plain Flour, 1tbsp Cocoa Powder, 2tsp Baking Powder

For the Icing: 50g Soft Unsalted Butter, 150g Dulce De Leche, 150g Icing Sugar, 1tsp Vanilla Extract or Paste

Method:

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Line two shallow cake tins with baking paper.

2) With an electric mixer or whisk beat the butter, sugar and caramel on high for a few minutes until thick and smooth. Next, beat in the eggs individually until smooth.

3) Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a separate bowl. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the flour until well incorporated. Continue to beat and add the toasted and ground hazelnuts. Mix until smooth.

4) Weigh the batter equally into the cake tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes. To check if they are done, stick a skewer into the middle of the cake – when it comes out clean, its ready.

5) Whilst the cakes are in the oven, make the icing. Beat the butter, caramel and vanilla in an electric mixer or with a whisk until smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat until thick and smooth. Place the icing in the fridge to firm up.

6) Once the cakes are cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 20 minutes. Then turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack until cooled completely.

7) Once cooled, sandwich the two layers together with 1/3 to 1/2 of the icing mixture. Use the remaining icing on the top of the cake.

Don’t leave unattended – it will be quick to disappear!