Monday, February 9, 2009

Chocolate Cake with Apples and Hazelnuts


Have you ever had the feeling that you have dozens of cookbooks, a fridge full of food but you're just not sure what to cook? I don't get that feeling very often, but when I do I always go back to an old favorite. Flourless chocolate cakes are a classic.. but hyped up with fruit and nuts they are just amazing.

The combination of apples, hazelnuts and chocolate was what drew me to this recipe and all I can say is.. I was rewarded by my curiosity! Chocolate and apples are less seen in daily desserts but they go wonderfully well together. Add the crunchiness of some chopped hazelnuts and you have yourself quite the dessert. This cake was easy to make (think 20 minutes preparation maximum) and was an easy way to switch up a basic recipe.

Recipe (adapted from Valrhona), serves 8

2 small Granny Smith apples
1/3 cup of hazelnuts, chopped
250 grams of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup of heavy whipping cream
3 egg yolks
4 teaspoons of cornstarch
3 tablespoons of liquid honey
3 egg whites
Confectioner's sugar

Preheat your oven to 375ºF / 190ºC.
Prepare an 8-inch or 9-inch springform pan (at least 2 inches deep) and grease the bottom and the sides. Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/2-inch dice and set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a light boil. Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let cool for about a minute. Using a rubber spatula, mix until the chocolate and cream are homogeneous. Slowly mix in the egg yolks and cornstarch until thoroughly incorporated. The mixture will be smooth and slightly thick.

In a separate bowl, add the honey to the egg whites and whip until soft peaks form.

Using a whisk, add about 1/3 of the whipped egg whites to the chocolate mixture to lighten the mixture. Don't worry about breaking the whites at this point, just whisk in the whites to make the batter more malleable. Then, gently fold in the remaining egg whites in two batches, and avoid over-mixing. White streaks of egg white should still be visible in the chocolate mixture.

Pour the batter into the greased springform pan. Top with the chopped apples and hazelnuts and dust lightly with confectioner's sugar. Place the springform pan on a cookie sheet or sheet pan and bake immediately.

Cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Be careful not to overcook or the cake will become flaky and dry.

Let the cake cool in the springform pan for at least 15 minutes before unmolding. The cake is best enjoyed while still warm. Enjoy!

47 comments:

CookiePie said...

WOW - I love the idea of adding apples to a rich flourless chocolate cake -- sounds divine! And the picture is gorgeous too.

tara said...

What an interesting combination of ingredients, I never would have thought to put them all together. This cake looks wonderful; the texture is luscious!

Dana Treat said...

Wow, an interesting combination. It looks absolutely delicious.

Cherie said...

What a great combination of flavours. I have a friend who's a coeliac, this cake will be perfect for her birthday.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I feel that all the time! You found a beautiful solution - what a delicious combo of flavors!

Deborah said...

What a delicious combination of ingredients!

Kevin said...

That cake looks so chocolaty and good!

Happy cook said...

Wowo they just look so beautiful and so so delicious.

Erin said...

This looks so good! I would have never thought to put that combination of ingredients together, but it sounds delicious!

May said...

Sounds like a perfect and delicious gluten free cake. Must try.

Ingrid said...

That's a serious looking cake. Dense & rich.

Yes, I get that same feeling all the time as in almost everyday! :-)
My children hate to eat the same thing more than once every 3 weeks. And they don't like anything out of a box, can, or pre-frozen!!! You know all the stuff normal kids love?! They are HIGH maintenance!
~ingrid

Aubrey said...

wow...looks amazing. i'm going to make it for my man for Valentines Day!! <3 Thanks for the idea!!

Rachel said...

What wouldn't I do for a piece of that right now?!

Mallory Elise said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm pretty photo :)

pigpigscorner said...

oh so gorgeous!! Looks so chocolatey, moist and delicious!

Hayley said...

Beautiful photo, and I can only imagine how rich and lovely this tastes. Thanks for sharing!

doggybloggy said...

that looks so rich it gave me hives....

Audrey said...

Were you (by any chance)reading my mind when you wrote tha first sentence? The answer is yes, and yes, and if I had known about this recipe before today it would have become one of the ones I'd come back to! Chocolate and apples are such an unusual combination - but one look at your pictures, and I'm ready to go for it!

Foodess said...

YUM! Chocolate and apples?? I'm in!

lisa (dandysugar) said...

Yum, a delicious decadent chocolaty treat! I love the apples in this cake. What a great combination of flavors.

Elyse said...

this cake looks delicious. what a unique and delicious combination! can't wait to try it.

Aimée said...

Looks intense! Where do you buy your Valrhona??

Liliana said...

This cake looks absolutely delicious! Can't wait to make it.

Snooky doodle said...

this looks amazingly tempting. I m drooling . yummy

Maria said...

Lots of flavors in this cake. I love them all!

Arlette said...

very nice looking cake, the flavour definitely amazing.
your blog is very interesting and have plenty of amazing recipes.
thanks for sharing

MaryBeth said...

I would have never thought to add apples to the cake..it looks so thick and delish!

Cakebrain said...

ooooh! decadent! flourless is the way to go in my book!

Debbie said...

That looks absolutely delicious. Never heard of the combo of chocolate cake with apples but it sounds great to me!

CHIC Sensibility... said...

This look great. What a combo. Thanks.
Stay chic!

Cakespy said...

Well...hello, delicious. I'll bet it's so decadently, perfectly, chocolate-ly moist and delicious! I love the combination of textures and flavors here.

Peter M said...

Oh my, this wedge is deep, dark chocolatey goodness. No need for seconds here.

bakingblonde said...

What a great idea to add apples to something that rich and chocolaty! YUM

thecleanveggie said...

holy moly this sounds awesome!
gorgeous photograph

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

This sounds like an interesting combo! Looks wonderful!

Lauren said...

This cake looks so good. I will definitely make it with some tweaks (can't have honey). The combo of apples and chocolate sounds divine!

Jennifer said...

Such a unique, yet delicious combination of ingredients! So lovely!

jeff said...

I made this last night, very tasty and well liked by my guests. It wasn't as dense as I was expecting, and it also took about 50 min of baking time. It paired quite nicely with a little vanilla bean ice cream.

Chocolate Shavings said...

jeff: I'm glad you liked it! And I agree, although it's a pretty chocolate-heavy cake it isn't too dense.

Maris said...

I love flourless chocolate cake and I can imagine that the combo of hazlenuts and apples balances out the rich flavors nicely.

And your photos are fabulous- I love your blog and I'll definitely be stopping back!

Chanel11 said...

I just made this and I too found that I had to cook it for longer - a great chocolate cake for those who prefer lighter cakes that aren't heavy on the chocolate.

Lovely blog, I come here for inspiration often.

Nuntiya said...

Thanks for nice photos and beautiful blog.

I baked this last nite and it took 65 minutes. It tastes really great. I like it when it's completely chilled out in the fridge. Althought it hardens a bit that way, but it's still fork tender and melts in your mouth ! Terrific!.

I also love the apple bits. The pieces that cooked through inside the cake is soft and sweet. Yum.

Anonymous said...

hey! Can you explain the reason why you add the egg whites separately and make sure they have peaks with the honey? Is it for texture?

Chocolate Shavings said...

Anonymous: Yes, it's to make sure they are airy to lighten up the mixture!

Erin said...

Woops! That was me. Appreciate the response. I have an awful lot of apple sauce in my fridge...I wonder if I can work that in here instead of the actual apples without making it goopy?

Chocolate Shavings said...

Erin: I would really try to use freshly chopped apples for this recipe. The apples are the finishing touch on touch of the cake, so they're not really meant to mess with the actual texture of the cake!

Feyza S. said...

When I first saw this recipe and the photos, they tempted me to try it. The result was worth trying and tasting this wonderful combination of chocolate and apples!
I have a Turkish blog and I'm going to post this recipe on my blog. Thank you very much :)

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