Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

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This is really fudgy, chocolate praline cake. This can be made into one 10” cake but I’m making it into two 8” cakes to make it more celebratory.

Ingredients
Cake batter

200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
200g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
6 eggs, separated
100g roasted hazelnuts, blitzed to a fine powder
100g self-raising flour

Chocolate Ganache Icing

300g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), broken into pieces
150g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
300ml double cream

Praline

200g caster sugar
100ml water
100g whole hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Grease and line two 8” cake tins

Method

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and leave for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
Add the egg yolks to the sugar.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
Use the same whisk to beat together the egg yolks and sugar for 2-3 minutes until it becomes pale.
Add the egg yolks to the chocolate mixture and mix.
Mix in the ground hazelnuts and flour.
Add a spoonful of the egg whites and fold through gently to avoid deflating before adding the rest.
Fold through well in a figure of 8 motion.
Divide equally between the pans.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Leave to rest overnight.

To make the ganache icing, add the chocolate, butter and syrup to a bowl over a pan of boiling water and cook until melted.
Allow to cool slightly.
Add the cream and stir in. Cover and leave in the fridge to set while you prepare the praline.
Add the water and sugar to a pan and cook until it is caramelised.
Turn off the heat and leave to cook for another couple of minutes using the residual heat.
Add the hazelnuts and coat in the caramel.
Oil and line a baking sheet and pour the hazelnut mix on it to cool before crushing with a rolling pin.
Blitz the praline to make a rough powder.
Spread a little chocolate mix on a cake plate and then put the first cake layer on it.
Mix up the chocolate mix and add 2-3 tbsp of the praline powder to add sweetness to it.
Evenly spread half the ganache icing over the top of the first layer.
Sprinkle the praline powder over the icing and then place the second cake layer on top.
Spread the rest of the chocolate icing over the top.
Decorate the edges of the icing with the chunky bits of the praline mix.
Serve at room temperature.

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