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Chocolate, Hazelnut & Sherry Cake

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.

53 Comments

  1. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    3rd February 2012 at 9:29 am

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      3rd February 2012 at 1:26 pm

      Dom – I’m wagging my finger at you!!

      Reply
  2. Melanie Heavenly

    3rd February 2012 at 9:42 am

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      3rd February 2012 at 1:27 pm

      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!

      Reply
  3. Suelle

    3rd February 2012 at 9:43 am

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      3rd February 2012 at 1:29 pm

      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.

      Reply
  4. Elpiniki

    3rd February 2012 at 11:06 am

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      3rd February 2012 at 1:30 pm

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

      Reply
  5. Katie

    3rd February 2012 at 12:07 pm

    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!

    Reply
  6. Choclette

    3rd February 2012 at 1:32 pm

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

    Reply
  7. Charlotte Pike

    3rd February 2012 at 1:48 pm

    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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th February 2012 at 2:58 pm

      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.

      Reply
  8. Hazel at Chicken in a Cherry Sauce

    3rd February 2012 at 5:01 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th February 2012 at 2:59 pm

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

      Reply
  9. Chele

    3rd February 2012 at 6:49 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th February 2012 at 3:01 pm

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

      Reply
  10. oxslip

    3rd February 2012 at 7:02 pm

    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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th February 2012 at 3:03 pm

      Thanks Oxslip, your comment made be chuckle.

      Reply
  11. cakeboule

    3rd February 2012 at 10:25 pm

    The cake looks brilliant – a wonderful shot!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th February 2012 at 3:04 pm

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

      Reply
  12. A Trifle Rushed

    3rd February 2012 at 11:17 pm

    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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th February 2012 at 3:05 pm

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

      Reply
  13. i- lostinausten

    4th February 2012 at 8:05 am

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th February 2012 at 3:08 pm

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

      Reply
  14. Angie's Recipes

    4th February 2012 at 8:34 am

    It looks wonderful with moist and smooth crumb.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th February 2012 at 3:09 pm

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

      Reply
  15. Susan's blog

    4th February 2012 at 11:20 am

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th February 2012 at 3:10 pm

      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!

      Reply
  16. Laura@howtocookgoodfood

    4th February 2012 at 12:44 pm

    This is a cake that looks dark, rich and very grown up! Love the sherried raisins idea. I think it must taste heavenly!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th February 2012 at 3:13 pm

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

      Reply
  17. C

    4th February 2012 at 3:42 pm

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th February 2012 at 3:15 pm

      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.

      Reply
  18. Phil in the Kitchen

    4th February 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Great sounding dessert – especially with that cream on the side.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th February 2012 at 3:16 pm

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

      Reply
  19. thelittleloaf

    4th February 2012 at 10:36 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th February 2012 at 3:17 pm

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

      Reply
  20. Jacqueline

    5th February 2012 at 2:01 am

    Ohhhhhhhhhh, look at how moist and brownie like that is mmmmmmmmmmm!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th February 2012 at 3:19 pm

      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.

      Reply
  21. Gourmet Chick

    5th February 2012 at 8:02 am

    I love the idea of using sherry in the cake – would give it a really nice tang.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th February 2012 at 3:20 pm

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

      Reply
  22. Cupcake Crazy Gem

    5th February 2012 at 1:54 pm

    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!

    Reply
  23. Choclette

    5th February 2012 at 3:21 pm

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

    Reply
  24. Jennifer

    5th February 2012 at 4:37 pm

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      9th February 2012 at 3:06 pm

      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 😉

      Reply
  25. The Caked Crusader

    5th February 2012 at 5:26 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      9th February 2012 at 6:46 pm

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

      Reply
  26. Baking Addict

    5th February 2012 at 6:37 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      9th February 2012 at 6:47 pm

      Cook books are just so difficult to resist Roz.

      Reply
  27. celia

    6th February 2012 at 2:18 am

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      9th February 2012 at 6:48 pm

      Thanks Celia, yes it worked much better than I was expecting.

      Reply
  28. Karen S Booth

    6th February 2012 at 8:57 pm

    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….

    Reply
  29. Choclette

    9th February 2012 at 6:49 pm

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

    Reply
  30. Johanna GGG

    11th February 2012 at 1:02 pm

    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 🙂

    Reply

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