20 February, 2011

Chocolate Cake for Friends and Neighbours

Do you know your neighbours?

Will they shovel your walk? Will you shovel theirs? Have you had backyard happy hour together? Built a really nice fence? Even chatted with them?

We've got some really fantastic neighbours (and one not so nice one). Once they got past the fact that we indeed were a couple old enough to own a house and not siblings living with our parents we've got along great. They babysit the girls, we watch each other's pets, and generally look out for each other. It is because of our neighbours, in large part, that we are renovating instead of moving.

So when we came home with a new washer and dryer today Poppa came over to help us get it into the house. No, we didn't make him do the heavy lifting! As I was already making dinner we invited them to join us. Besides, how much ham can two adults and the girls eat?

We pigged out, literally, on Spragg Meats ham, sauteed kale, and lentils with roasted squash and caramelized onions. I was going to be all healthy and serve a citrus salad for dessert, but it seemed more special to make a cake. Our neighbours definitely deserved cake.

This recipe was created for the latest issue of What's Up Families. I wrote a feature article on gluten free cooking. It was a great challenge for me. And a great opportunity to interview Lauren over at Celiac Teen and her family for the article. Very inspiring to see her family together and her love for baking. While Lauren isn't quite close enough to be my neighbour (but luckily still close), I would happily share this cake with her. (Check out the issue for more GF recipes.)

Hazelnut Flourless Chocolate Cake

1/2 cup plus 1 tsp cocoa
4 ounces chocolate
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, finely crushed

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8'' round cake pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper to line the bottom, place inside the buttered pan, and butter that too. Use the 1 tsp of cocoa to dust the parchment lines pan.
2. Chop the chocolate and melt with the butter in a bowl set atop of a pot of simmering water. Once melted remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
3. While the chocolate is cooling whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add in 1/4 cup sugar and beat until glossy and stiff peaks form.
4. Add the egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla to the melted chocolate. Stir well. Add the hazelnuts. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten the batter. Carefully fold in the remaining whites. Stop as soon as you don't see white. Pour into prepared pan.
5. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan. Best served warm.


Fareen said...

That cake looks delicious!!

Savannah, Acts of Sweetness Ambassador said...

This cake looks amazing! Thanks for writing this post up and providing the recipe! I shared this post with our Redpath Sugar community:


Charmian @Christie's Corner said...

Chocolate and hazelnut is one of my favourite combinations. And being flourless, I can serve this to my gluten-free friends. Everybody wins!

Melody Fury - GourmetFury.com said...

If I were your neighbor, I'd come knocking! Lovely photos and post.