This Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake is a wonderful combination of flourless chocolate cake and finely ground hazelnuts. An accidentally gluten-free chocolate cake with a wonderful hazelnut flavour.
I’ve wanted to post this recipe forever. This Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake is dense, yet somehow light. It has a wonderful nutty flavour from the ground hazelnuts that make up a large portion of the ingredients. What’s more, it’s accidently gluten free.
This amazing flourless cake came about because I had a slice of flourless chocolate cake at a restaurant a while back and had this need to recreate it. Strangely, as my brain is, I first created this Flourless Lemon Cake but I knew I’d always cave in to that gorgeous, dense chocolate craving. And here it is.
How do you make a cake without flour?
Actually, it’s incredibly easy to make a flourless chocolate cake. The main body of the cake is made up of ground nuts and eggs. There’s some cocoa and some good, dark chocolate in there to make it uber-chocolatey and then all the required bits for a gorgeous, can-I-have-some-more-please chocolate cake (aka butter and sugar).
For my Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, I like to make my own ground hazelnuts or hazelnut meal. This way I can toast them first which adds extra flavour to the end result. You can absolutely use pre-ground hazelnuts though and this will still be delicious.
After grinding your nuts, you’ll start to turn it into a cake by creaming together some butter and sugar. Next, you’ll add the egg yolks and a touch of vanilla which, believe it or not, will actually intensify the chocolate flavour. Now you add your dry ingredients and gently mix them in. The last step is to beat the egg whites to soft peaks and then carefully fold them into the batter.
Aaaaaand bake ….
Give it time to cool
Once it’s baked, just allow your cake cool for about half an hour before removing the ring from the springform tin (I love this Le Creuset 20cm spring form tin). This will just help it to keep it’s shape and not crack too much. In a cake using flour, the flour develops gluten which helps to hold things together. A flourless cake is much more delicate when it’s still warm as it doesn’t have that gluten to bind it all. Once cooled though, it holds together no problem.
It’s best to let it cool completely before carefully transferring your perfect flourless chocolate cake to a cake plate.
- 240 g hazelnuts, skinless - (notes)
- 1 cup / 200g white granulated sugar
- 226 g / 2 sticks / 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 50 g / 1/4 cup dark 70% chocolate, melted
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ⁄4 teaspoon salt
- Extra cocoa, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Grease the sides of a 22cm (9 inch) round springform cake tin and then line the bottom and sides with baking paper.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper, then tip the hazelnuts onto the tray in one, even layer. Toast in the oven, shaking the pan every 5 minutes or so until golden all over. Allow the hazelnuts to cool for 5 minutes, then grind them to very fine crumbs in a food processor. Keep an eye on them as if you blend too long, they will release their oil and become wet instead of the dry ground hazelnuts you need.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy, then add the vanilla and the yolks, one at time until fully combined and the mixture looks fluffy. Finally add the melted chocolate and mix through.
- Mix the ground hazelnuts, cocoa, baking powder and salt together. With the beater on low, slowly pour it into the butter mixture until combined.
- In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peak stage. Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the batter and mix through. Add the last 2/3 in 2 parts but just fold through in gentle, measured folds until all combined. Keep the mixing to a minimum to keep as much air in the mix as possible.
- Bake for 50 - 55 minutes until the top looks dry and a toothpick comes out with just a moist crumb or two.
- Allow to cool for half an hour before removing the springform tin. Transfer to a cake plate and allow to cool completely.
- Dust with cocoa right before serving
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
- For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales like these are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- You can use pre-ground hazelnuts to save on time
- I love this Le Creuset 20cm spring form tin
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