Saturday, December 23

Have yourself a...

I know it’s needless to say, but I’ll do it anyway:
It’s really almost Christmas now!
I hope this info is not new or comes with a shock for you, because otherwise I think it would be smart to make some plans and get going (!)
What are you doing this year with Christmas? A 15 courses menu? (it wouldn’t be a surprise with you foodies!) Eating out in a Michelin worthy restaurant? Nothing? Or like us, having a buffet with all kinds of little snacks and other tasty things?
I’m in charge of the dessert section this year -what else?- and decided to go for a few different sweets and desserts, simply because I couldn’t choose…
One of them is this rich chocolate cake with hazelnuts. This is the kind of cake that gets only better and better the longer you wait…perfect for Christmas!

I’m always careful in the kitchen - did you know 58% of all indoor accidents happens in the kitchen?! - but this time I was extra careful, as I still have last Christmas etched on my memory...
Last year me and my mom were hostesses, so on Christmas morning after breakfast and presents, we got back in the kitchen and prepared the final things for dinner. It was nice, but busy and slightly chaotic, and their was still a lot to do.
I was just making a piecrust: butter, flour and sugar were in the bowl, the hand blender was cheery grunting, and the dough was ready to be made into a bal. I putted down the blender and placed my hands in the bowl.
I wanted to have as well the last bit of dough that was sticking in the blender, so I, clearly without thinking, went for it.
10 minutes later we were, me still in my pj’s, at the first aid post. When my finger touched the blade, the power switched on and -luckily!- only my fingernail didn’t survive. Merry Christmas indeed! ;)

So this year I made sure nothing needed the blender…
I haven’t tasted this cake yet of course, -that would be rude!- so I can’t tell you how it tastes, but judging the ingredients, the look, the soft inside versus the crunchy outside, and the incredible smell, it’s only really promising…

Have a great time, merry Christmas everybody!

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake (for 10 till 12 people, adapted from La Dolce Vita)
- 250g (9oz) chocolate (minimum 70%)
-115g (1 stick/½ cup) butter, softened
- 5 eggs, split
- 140g (¾ cup) finely granulated sugar
- 50ml rum/cognac
- 100g fine maizena
- 150g (1 ¼ cups) hazelnuts, roasted

1. Preheat over to 180°C (350°F) and grease and flour a 22cm (9 inch) round cake pan.

2. In a small saucepan, mix the chocolate, broken in little pieces, and the butter over low heat till the chocolate is melted. Take the pan of the fire and let to cool a bit.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the sugar together to a thick, creamy mixture. Mix in the chocolate mixture, rum, maizena and hazelnuts until well blended.

4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff (but not dry!) and fold them carefully in the chocolate/hazelnuts mixture.
Scoop this mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30 till 40 minutes.

The cake is ready when it’s dry and firm to the touch, but still a bit wet and silky inside. The top is as well cracked, but that’s how it should be.
Let the cake in it’s for until it’s completely cooled, take out on a serving plate and dust with powder sugar.
Optional: serve with a big dot of mascarpone and strong coffee…Yum!


connie said...

beautiful cake Julia! Merry Christmas to you!

Nicole said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family Julia! Your cake looks wonderful! Glad to hear that there have been no accidents so far this year :-)

angie said...

I bet this will taste great, coz it certainly looks that way :). Merry Christmas and to more great bakes for the coming year!

Brilynn said...

It looks wonderful! And even if it wasn't, (which I can't imagine) you can tell us it was great and we'll believe you!

gattina said...

your baking always shines with elegance! This cake of yours is my very favorite!
Merry Christmas!

peabody said...

Merry Christmas.

veron said...

chocolate and hazelnuts are my favorite combination. I'm sure this cake tasted awesome. Merry Christmas!

Julia said...

Thanks Connie, Nicole, Angie, Brilynn, Gattina, and Veron…
Thank you for all your nice and sweet comments!
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! =)

Mary said...

Julia, that's a divine looking cake, but what's Maizena?