Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday baking - chocolate hazelnut cake

Ray McVinnie has a weekly recipe feature in the Sunday magazine that comes with the Sunday Star Times. I always read his recipes, but (perhaps because his food is particularly un-photogenic) they never really appeal. A few weeks ago he had a cake feature which looked interesting, So I made this chocolate hazelnut cake. I agree with Ray that the combination of chocolate and hazelnuts go well together, but sadly, my results with this cake were disappointing. There's no raising agent in the cake, so it's very dense. Perhaps I overcooked it, but my version was very dry, and certainly needed a high ratios of cream to cake. I foolishly cooled my cake on a wire rack, which left indented lines on the top. Ray recommended serving the cake warm, which did help improve it, but not enough for my liking. Not that I'll be making it again, but it could be improved with a coffee syrup poured over it, or it would make a good base for a trifle or fudge cake. Here's the recipe... Chocolate Hazelnut Cake 6 eggs 250g caster sugar 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 50ml extra virgin olive oil 200g finely chopped New Zealand hazelnuts 150g chopped dark chocolate 175g flour whipped cream, for serving. Preheat the oven to 175C. Butter and line a 24cm cake tin with baking paper. Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla until pale, creamy and thick. Stir in the oil, then hazelnuts, chocolate and flour. Pour into tin and cook for 30minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, then remove from the tin and allow to cool completely.


  1. Miriam, this made me laugh because I often rip out Ray's recipes but never get around to making them! He tends to polarise people - my sister despises him because she says he rips off Elizabeth David without paying due homage - but I love the Quick Smart thing he does in Cuisine. Am really not sure about his Masterchef persona though - those glasses make him look like Uncle Junior from the Sopranos!
    Happy weekend to you and yours, Lucy

  2. Oh how interesting Miriam! I forgot to rip this one out, and was disappointed, so it is very good to read a review of it. I can't work out why his recipe didn't have a rising agent in it? Can anyone explain the science behind that one? Normally I can pinpoint the ingrediant that replaces or negates the need for a rising agent, but can't here!

    Those of Ray's recipes I've made have been pretty good, and his carrot cake from last week was pretty awesome (I wrote about it here)

    I'm also glad that you mentioned the cake rack! My next Moore Wilson's purchase will be a cake rack with both horizontal and vertical lines (this should stop stuff falling between the gaps)!

  3. The beating of the eggs and then adding the flour and oil sounds like my Mum's old sponge cake recipe. The eggs act as the rising agent, so maybe you didn't beat them enough, or maybe you collapsed the air in the batter when you added the remaining ingredients. I was never a huge fan of the sponge cake.

  4. I love choc and hazelnut together, it s all the years in Germany that make me crave that combination. I think hazelnut meal and more of it with less flour would have made a moist cake. Great meeting you at the Supper Club, hope to see you again an another gathering. Alli

  5. How much flour does this recipe use? I don't see it listed...

    Thank you!

  6. Hi, for some reason the formatting went a bit funny for the recipe, but it's 175g of flour.


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