Flourless Chocolate & Hazelnut Cake

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Prep 20minBake 55minMakes 8-10 serves

This cake is a favourite of mine – it is rich but light all at the same time. The chocolate, egg yolks and hazelnut meal provide the richness while the egg whites account for the light texture. It is indulgent without being overwhelmingly rich – my sort of chocolate cake. It makes a perfect dessert when served with thick cream or ice cream but don’t underestimate how blissfully suitable a slice with afternoon coffee can be.


Melted butter, to grease
150g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
100g butter, cubed
4 eggs, at room temperature, separated
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
110g (1 cup) hazelnut meal
2 tablespoons sherry, brandy or Frangelico
Cocoa powder or icing sugar, to dust


    1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (130°C fan-forced). Grease a 22cm (base measurement) springform tin with the melted butter, then line the base and side with baking paper.
    2. Combine the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t allow the bowl to touch the water). Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter melt and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan.
    3. Add the egg yolks, sugar, hazelnut meal and sherry to the chocolate mixture and use a balloon whisk to stir until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
    4. Place the egg whites in a clean, dry medium bowl and use electric beaters with a whisk attachment to whisk until firm peaks form. Add a spoonful of egg white to the chocolate mixture and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold in – this will ‘loosen’ the mixture. Add the remaining egg white and fold in until just combined.
    5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes or until the top of the cake feels set and crumbs cling to a skewer inserted into the centre. Remove the cake from the oven, place on a wire rack and cool completely in the tin.
    6. Remove the cake from the ti and serve dusted with cocoa powder or icing sugar.

    Baker's Tips

    • This cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Bring it to room temperature before serving.


    • Flourless Chocolate & Almond Cake: Replace the hazelnut meal with almond meal.
    • Flourless Chocolate & Orange Cake: Replace the hazelnut meal with almond meal. Replace the sherry with 2 tablespoons orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau). Add 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest with the egg yolks.
    • Flourless Chocolate Coffee Cake: Replace the sherry with 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 tablespoons water.