Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Chocolate, Hazelnut & Sherry Cake

4 Star, Large Cakes | 3rd February 2012 | By

As part of the review process for Crazy Water Pickled Lemons I felt I needed to make one of the recipes. No surprise that I chose a chocolate cake – a hazelnut and sherry one.

This is how I did it:

  • Melted 150g dark chocolate (Green & Black’s 72% cook’s chocolate) in a pan over a very low heat with 75g unsalted butter and 125ml sherry (I used a sweet sherry as that’s all I had, but recipe called for dry fino).
  • Stirred until all incorporated and smooth then left to cool for a bit.
  • Toasted 100g shelled hazelnuts under the grill for about 5 minutes. Left to cool slightly, then rubbed of their skins with my hands and chopped them roughly.
  • Weighed out and sifted 2oz plain flour, 2oz cocoa, 1/2 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt.
  • Whisked 6 egg whites until stiff – should always be done last, but I hate having to wash up my beaters half way through a process, so I do it first, making sure everything else pretty much ready to go when I’ve finished.
  • Beat 6 egg yolks with 160g caster sugar until thick and creamy.
  • Beat in the chocolate mixture.
  • Stirred in 75g of the hazelnuts.
  • Folded in the flour alternately with spoonfuls of the egg white until all just incorporated.
  • Poured into a 22cm cake mould and baked for 40 minutes at 180C.
  • Left to cool in the tin for 20 minutes then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Threw a handful of raisins into a small pan and just covered with sweet sherry.
  • Brought this to a near simmer, then turned off the heat and left the raisins to soak until cold.
  • Whipped some double cream until soft peaks formed, then whisked in some quark (low fat curd cheese). The recipe had suggested Greek yogurt or fromage frais, but this was the nearest thing I had in the fridge at the time.
  • Stirred in the raisins and sherry.
  • Omitted adding icing sugar as I thought the raisins and sherry would be sweet enough.
  • Placed the cake onto a serving plate & dusted lightly with icing sugar.
  • Scattered the remaining hazelnuts over the top, then dusted again with icing sugar.
  • Served with a large dollop of the sherry raisin cream.

The cake rose beautifully, I was expecting it to sink like a souffle, but luckily, it sank just enough to gave a pleasingly level top. This is one for the adults – rich, dark & slightly bitter it almost borders on the savoury. The crunchy pices of hazelnut provide an interesting contrast to the smooth crumb of the cake. As for the raison cream, it was delicious in its own right and we could have happily eaten a bowlful. It enhanced the flavour of the cake and bought out its fruity notes. This would be good as a dinner party dessert and despite its magnificence, it is very easy to make.

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Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Dom at Belleau Kitchen
    3rd February 2012

    god, it looks like it has that wonderful dense quality in a chocolate cake that I adore… really looks wonderful… nice work Chocolate Bitch!!

  2. Leave a Reply

    Melanie Heavenly
    3rd February 2012

    This is so bizarre – here i am sitting at work drinking my homemade smoothie, into which i’d thrown some sunflower seeds, pumpkins seeds and hazelnuts. I thought to myself, I really like hazelnuts I wonder what I can bake using them. Went onto my blog to check up on my bloglist and immediately came across this recipe. I’ll be making this, this weekend. Thanks!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      3rd February 2012

      It’s great the way things work sometimes. Your smoothie sounds a lot more healthy than chocolate cake. But as chocolate cake goes, this one isn’t so bad!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Suelle
    3rd February 2012

    The recipe sounds delicious and you make it look very good too!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      3rd February 2012

      Thank you Suelle. This doesn’t have to much butter in for the size of cake, but I wonder how it would turn out using oil instead – probably very well.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Elpiniki
    3rd February 2012

    Amazing cake! So much chocolate!!!
    I just found your blog and I loved it! Am a happy follower now! Visit me at:
    my-greek-cooking.blogspot.com
    Hope to c u around!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      3rd February 2012

      Thank you Elpinki and thanks for following too. Not much point having a chocolate blog if I can’t have lots of chocolate šŸ˜‰

  5. Leave a Reply

    Katie
    3rd February 2012

    That looks like a wonderful cake. I’m intregied by the sherry flavour, you don’t see that in cakes much apart from trifle. Looks lovely and moist and fudgy. Yum!

  6. Leave a Reply

    Choclette
    3rd February 2012

    Thank you Katie. I was quite excited to see how the sherry would work – very well is the answer šŸ™‚

  7. Leave a Reply

    Charlotte Pike
    3rd February 2012

    Wow, this cake looks really special. I find that often this type of cake can sink in the middle, so it is nice to see a level top. I think this would make a really elegant birthday cake for a chocolate lover.

    Charlotte
    @gofreecakes

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th February 2012

      Thank you Charlotte. You’re right, this would be a good b/day cake for a chocolate lover, but is probably too intense to be a real crowd pleaser.

  8. Leave a Reply

    Hazel at Chicken in a Cherry Sauce
    3rd February 2012

    I am dying for this cake after reading your description. Dark, bitter, rich and bordering savoury sounds right up my street! Always love the addition of alcohol in a cake too.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th February 2012

      Hi Hazel, this made me laugh. You always seem to like my more unusual posts. Thanks for leaving such great comments.

  9. Leave a Reply

    Chele
    3rd February 2012

    Now that sounds awesome! I don’t think its too hard to stray from perfection when chocolate and hazelnuts are combined, especially in cake form.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th February 2012

      Agree wholeheartedly Chele, although I still haven’t managed to get myself some frangelico!

  10. Leave a Reply

    oxslip
    3rd February 2012

    At the risk of sounding like a teenager: OMG. That looks awesome and as you say very adult. I am still in awe of your prolific baking, yum

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th February 2012

      Thanks Cakeboule. My photography skills leave much to be desired, but I do try – most of the time!

  11. Leave a Reply

    A Trifle Rushed
    3rd February 2012

    OH MY…. What a perfect cake, I’m really going to have to bake this one and even buy the book if this is the standard of recipe! Jude x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th February 2012

      Ah, thank you Jude. There are some great recipes in the book, but not much on the baking front.

  12. Leave a Reply

    i- lostinausten
    4th February 2012

    Yummy! looks deliciously perfect! I love chocolate cakes especially with some alcohol added in the recipe. I’m book marking this recipe!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th February 2012

      Apart from sherry trifle, it’s quite unusual to use this particular alcoholic beverage in baking.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th February 2012

      Thank you Angie. Yes it was. I hate it when cakes just disintegrate when you cut into them.

  13. Leave a Reply

    Susan's blog
    4th February 2012

    Thats one to ear mark for a special occasion, it looks so decadent and moist. x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th February 2012

      Susan this really is a special occasion cake – not one to be downed just by CT and myself. But it is lasting a good long while!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th February 2012

      Laura, thank you. A small slice of this goes a long way. Luckily the cake keeps really well!!! The sherried raisins are delicious.

  14. Leave a Reply

    C
    4th February 2012

    Wow Choclette – that looks and sounds amazing! I love the idea of all the different flavours in there complementing one another and the texture looks superb – really moist and chocolate-y! Yum!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th February 2012

      Thank you C. It never ceases to amaze me just how many combinations you can have in a chocolate cake and they are all so different.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th February 2012

      Yes Phil, good point. This would make an excellent dinner party dessert.

  15. Leave a Reply

    thelittleloaf
    4th February 2012

    Ooh I’ve been waiting for this recipe – it looks beautifully moist and delicious. I love hazelnuts and chocolate, and can imagine the sherry works wonderfully with both.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th February 2012

      Little Loaf, this is a really good one – as long as you’re not expecting anything too sweet!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th February 2012

      Looks like a brownie but tastes very different. With my sweet tooth, I’d probably pick a brownie over this one if I couldn’t have a piece of both, but this really was very good.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th February 2012

      Interesting how sherry isn’t used much in baking – it should be really.

  16. Leave a Reply

    Cupcake Crazy Gem
    5th February 2012

    Thanks for entering the giveaway – I hope you get the chance of trying them too! The texture of this cake looks great, so fudgy and moist – yum!

  17. Leave a Reply

    Choclette
    5th February 2012

    Thank you – we still have some left over a week old and it’s still not horribly dry.

  18. Leave a Reply

    Jennifer
    5th February 2012

    What a fabulous cake – definitely one to make. It’s so good to have a large repertoire of chocolate cakes – there can never be too many.

    Regarding your comment on my blog – how could I possibly have forgotten Hugh!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      9th February 2012

      Don’t think I’m in any danger of running out of new chocolate cakes in the near future. Everytime I think I’m getting close to what is possible, I spot another ten or so šŸ˜‰

  19. Leave a Reply

    The Caked Crusader
    5th February 2012

    Mr CC would love this – he’s a fan of bitter chocolate. It looks beautiful – love the cut slice photo

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      9th February 2012

      Thanks CC – maybe Mr CC might be seeing something similar for V-day?

  20. Leave a Reply

    Baking Addict
    5th February 2012

    This looks amazing and the last photo is brilliant – so inviting šŸ™‚ I’ve got this book on my wishlist but I feel guilty as I still have a few untouched books on the shelf!

  21. Leave a Reply

    celia
    6th February 2012

    Oooh Choclette, what a crumb! Hasn’t it held its shape well given all those eggs! Just beautiful…

  22. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    6th February 2012

    I thought I had been here and had a slice of this cake, but NO I seem to have missed it! LOVELY looking cake with fabulous ingredients, and ingredients I love too….

  23. Leave a Reply

    Choclette
    9th February 2012

    Thank you Karen, you always say such nice things. I expect you remember seeing the picture on my last post šŸ˜‰

  24. Leave a Reply

    Johanna GGG
    11th February 2012

    sounds delightful – some of my favourite ingredients – and it looks so rich and fudgy – just wish I had a dinner party to make this for šŸ™‚

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