5 from 5 votes

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake | ZoeBakes Photo by Zoë François

I’ve known my husband and his family for 30+ years and in all those decades there is a story about a cake that has been the heart of my career goals. Just to be clear, this is not the cake. This flourless chocolate hazelnut cake is AWESOME and I’m very pleased with it, but it’s not the cake my husband wistfully remembers from his childhood. I have never had the mythical cake, which is my excuse for not being able to recreate it. The joke in my house is that the day I am able to bake that one (hazelnut sponge with whipped cream and canned peaches) I can retire. So, maybe there is part of me that just isn’t ready to nail it.

Okay, let’s talk about this flourless chocolate hazelnut cake. It was inspired by the aforementioned favorite of my husband and a flourless chocolate cake in the book, Bake from Scratch, by Brian Hart Hoffman. For those of you not familiar with this book or Brian, he is the talent behind @TheBakeFeed on Instagram. You should be following them and me, for that matter! You’ll find my feed at @zoebakes where you can keep up with what I am working on every day and watch my video stories, which is my playground.

This is like the most elegant brownie-cake you’ve ever had. That really doesn’t do it justice, but you know that fudge texture of a perfectly baked brownie, where the top has a nice crust and the inside is smooth and rich. This is that, but even better and somehow lighter. I gilded the lily with the candied hazelnuts, because it is my favorite man’s birthday and he deserves to have all the fancy bits.

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake | ZoeBakes Photo by Zoë François
Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake | ZoeBakes Photo by Zoë François
Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake | ZoeBakes Photo by Zoë François
Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake | ZoeBakes Photo by Zoë François
Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake | ZoeBakes Photo by Zoë François
Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake | ZoeBakes Photo by Zoë François

Enjoy!

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake | ZoeBakes by Zoë François

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

This is like the most elegant brownie-cake you've ever had. That really doesn't do it justice, but you know that fudge texture of a perfectly baked brownie, where the top has a nice crust and the inside is smooth and rich? This is that, but even better and somehow lighter. I gilded the lily with candied hazelnuts.
5 from 5 votes

Ingredients

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

  • 3 oz (85g) hazelnuts toasted, skins removed, more for garnish
  • 12 oz (340g) bittersweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 170g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 6 extra large eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract homemade vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • Cocoa powder for pan and dusting the top

Candied Hazelnuts

  • 12 hazelnuts
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • Long wooden skewers

Instructions

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and line a 9-inch springform pan with buttered parchment.
  • Pulverize the hazelnuts and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor until very fine.
  • In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter until smooth, allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • In a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk, beat the eggs, remaining sugar, vanilla and salt, until very thick and light in color, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Slowly add the cooled chocolate to the egg mixture.
  • Fold in the hazelnuts and quickly pour into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until the top is crusty and the interior produces moist crumbs. Allow to cool in pan until room temperature.

Candied Hazelnuts

  • You will need long wooden skewers and a heavy cutting board to weigh them down on the edge of your counter. Place parchment or newspaper on the floor below where the hazelnuts will be suspended to catch the caramel drips.
  • Heat the hazelnuts in a pan for a minute or so to remove the skins more easily if yours are not blanched. Gently stick the skewer into the hazelnuts. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan combine the sugar, water and corn syrup and bring to a boil, without stirring. Once the mixture starts to caramelize remove from the stove and allow it to darken and thicken for about 10 minutes. Stirring on occasion so it won’t set up on the bottom of the pan.
  • Once the caramel is thickened, dip the hazelnut into the caramel and lift it to see if the caramel is clinging. If the caramel just runs off then you may need to wait another minute and repeat.
  • When the caramel is coating the hazelnut and dripping off in long strands then secure the skewer under the heavy cutting board, so the caramel can drip down.
  • Let the hazelnuts sit until the caramel is well set, about 15 minutes. Break off the caramel strands at the length you want. Gently twist the hazelnuts from the skewers. Decorate the top of your cake with the points way up in the air.
  • Once the cake is cool and cut the top with shatter and that is exactly what we’re going for. The top is crisp which is a beautiful contrast to the silky interior.

Notes

You can watch me make this cake and the candied hazelnuts in my Instagram story!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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17 thoughts to “Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake”

  1. Hey Zoe, not a fan of hazelnuts but I am a fan of you! What do you think about using pecans in place of the hazelnuts?

  2. Made it for my daughter’s birthday yesterday, along with the candied hazelnuts (fun!!). Wonderful recipe, came out great!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this cake yesterday for the first time and it is a hit! It is delicious and I had my eyes on this recipe for a while so I am so glad I finally baked it. People at work loved it!
    Great recipe that I will do again!

  4. Hi Zoë! Is this cake gluten free? I’m not a gluten free expert, but my niece has to eat GF and it’s always hard to figure out a dessert for her… But this looks delicious

    1. Hi Yasmine! This cake does not call for any gluten ingredients, but be sure to check all the ingredients you buy for the cake before making it to ensure they are gluten free, especially if she has Celiac disease. Gluten sometimes hides where you would least expect it! Enjoy.

    1. Hi Pam, you could try omitting the sugar but it will change both the texture and flavor of the recipe. Since Zoë hasn’t tested it without sugar, she suggests trying a half batch if you’re going to omit the sugar to make sure you like how it turns out. Happy baking!

  5. Hello Zoe! I’m wondering how/where to store the cake (fridge, counter etc)? Also, can you freeze the cake and add the hazelnut decorations after it is taken out of the freezer?

    1. Hi Jessica! This cake can stay out at room temperature, but if you’re making it way ahead it can probably be frozen. The hazelnut garnish doesn’t do well in humidity, so if you make them be sure it’s in an air conditioned environment and keep in mind they won’t last long. Enjoy!

  6. Hi Zoey. This flourless chocolate cake looks amazing. I’m looking forward to trying it and have a question. I’ve made this type of cake before and have always been instructed to separate the eggs. I did not see that direction here.
    Is this recipe made with whole unseparated eggs?
    Please clarify.
    Thank you for your inspiration!
    Wishing you the best
    Lyn

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