Chocolate Hazelnut Cake–Gluten-Free and Amazing!

This cake is just amazing.  I have to admit that I wanted to make some of the recipes that use brown butter for an additional depth of flavor.  To be able to make this cake and to make it gluten-free, made my day!

If you like that Italian candy that is chocolate and hazelnut–this is even better, and we know it is gluten-free because we made it.  I must stress that it is not light or a very healthy recipe.  It is over the top!  Rich chocolate, roasted nuts, and brown butter makes this a cake you should reserve only for a celebration.  Do be careful–the calories must be over the top!  I hope you enjoy this cake.  Just don’t plant to enjoy it too often!

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup hazelnuts, roasted, cooled (place nuts in oven for 10-12 minutes until toasted)
  • 1½ stick unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder (plus dust pan with cocoa)
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • ¼ cup Baking Free ™gluten-free All Purpose Flour (31 g)
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup egg whites (from about 7 eggs or buy the carton of egg whites)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch cakepan or spring form pan. Line bottom with parchment and grease the parchment. Dust pan with cocoa. Set aside.
  2. Place the butter in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Put bean and seeds in the butter. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until the butter browns, about 7 minutes. Watch carefully as it will burn quickly--err on lighter than darker. Take off burner and cool slightly.
  3. In a food processor, combine the cooled nuts, flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder and salt. Grind very finely.
  4. In a large metal bowl over simmering water or in a double boiler also simmering, whisk together the egg whites and both sugars. Carefully whisk until sugars are dissolved and the mixture feels warm. Remove the bowl from the heat.
  5. Place the bowl with the egg whites on a towel on the counter. Gradually add the nut and flour mixture and whisk together. Then add the warm butter, ¼ cup at a time, to the bowl and mix after each addition. Fold in the chocolate chips. The batter will be fairly liquid.
  6. Pour into prepared pan. Bake the cake for 30-40 minutes, until the top springs back when pressed. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-20 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and invert onto serving plate or loosen the spring sides. Let the cake cool on the serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature. You might want to top servings with whipped cream, sliced fresh fruit or ice cream. Makes 1 cake--serves 8-10.

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