Monday, 27 September 2010

Messiest baker of the year 2010

This is what Rob wrote on our chalkboard today after I had been baking, and to be fair I don’t think he was far wrong. I have made no secret of the fact that I love my coffee, but in equal measure, I put a great deal of thought into how I can combine caffeine and sugar successfully in order to create the ultimate buzz.  Today, nothing was going to hit the spot like chocolate. Now let me be more specific, I was not just about to settle for the bar of Green and Blacks nestling in the cupboard, I needed something stronger, richer and more luscious. This was how chocolate and hazelnut cake was born, and also how I earned the aforementioned accolade.
The kitchen was temporarily ruined, and the only reason I have not included the photographic evidence, is due to the sheer shame of the situation, further aggravated by the fact that my camera was buried in a mountain of icing sugar. This however should not put you off. This cake is amazing, and being an experimental cook, the kitchen often resembles a disaster zone when I try something new.
If you love chocolate, trust me this cake will well and truly hit the spot.  What more could a chocoholic ask for? If anyone has any other ideas I’d love to hear them. In the meantime, here is how you go about devastating your kitchen.
200g plain flour
250g icing sugar
200g unsalted butter, softened
150g hazelnuts, crushed
150g plain chocolate
30g cocoa powder
1 tbsp Nutella or chocolate spread
5 free range eggs, separated

1. Preheat the oven to 180°, grease and line a 26cm cake tin.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the softened butter and icing sugar. Then add the egg yolks one at a time, beating the mixture well after each yolk has been added.

3. Add the flour, cocoa powder, chocolate and hazelnuts to the bowl. When I made this recipe, I put the hazelnuts in a sandwich bag and bashed them using a rolling pin. This creates a range of hazelnut chunk sizes, which gives the cake a great texture.

4. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold into the cake mixture, alongside a tablespoon of Nutella. Finally bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

I served my cake with some homemade blackberry compote and of course a cup of coffee. It would be equally delicious served with cream or ice cream.


  1. How wonderful - conjuring up a new recipe to satisfy a yearning of the tastebuds! No shame in a messy kitchen - it just shows a genius at work!

  2. I agree! If you try making the cake let me know what you think!