Hazelnut-Infused Chocolate Cake
Mario Batali's Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
- For the Cakes:
- 8 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate
- 2 ounces Unsweetened Chocolate
- 4 ounces Hazelnuts (toasted)
- 3 tablespoons Confectioners Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 cup premium-quality Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder
- 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter (1 1/2 sticks; softened)
- 3/4 cup plus 5 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened Hazelnut Paste
- 6 Eggs (separted)
- 2 teaspoons strong brewed Espresso (cooled)
- 2 teaspoons Frangelico (Hazelnut Liqueur)
- 2 teaspoons pure Vanilla Extract
For the Garnish:
- Whipped Cream
- toasted Hazelnut Paste
- For the Cakes: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray twelve 3-inch cake molds or one 9-inch springform pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Melt the chocolate, either in the microwave or over a double boiler. Set aside to cool. Put the hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor, along with the confectioners sugar, salt and cocoa. Pulse until sand-like.
- In a mixer, beat together the butter and 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the hazelnut paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Add the espresso, Frangelico, vanilla extract, followed by the melted chocolate. Fold in the nut mixture.
- In a separate mixing bowl, use the whisk attachment and beat until the egg whites are foamy. Slowly add the remaining 5 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter with a rubber spatula.
- Place the prepared molds on a greased baking sheet and divide the batter evenly among them. Bake the cakes until they just begin to crack, about 14 minutes for the smaller cakes and 45 minutes for the large cake. Remove from the oven and cool in the molds on a wire rack.
- When the cakes are almost completely cool, gently remove the molds, then chill in the refrigerator until firm. Serve with whipped cream and toasted hazelnut paste.
- For the Garnish: Place the toasted hazelnut paste in a saute pan over medium-low heat. Stir with a spatula until slightly golden brown and crumbly, about 5 minutes.